By Victor Ahiuma-Young
THREE highest ranking officials of National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, were yesterday arrested at the union’s secretariat, Lagos, by fully armed Policemen from the Federal Criminal Investigative Department, FCID, Alagbon close, Ikoyi.
Those arrested are the union President, Danjuma Musa, General Secretary, Sheirk Mohammed, and Deputy General Secretary, Okon Etim.
Though reasons for the arrest were still hazy at the time of this report, the leaders of the Union have since the union’s national delegates conference few months ago in Lagos, have been having running battles with officials of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, some alleged former members of the Union and external individuals said to be uncomfortable with the union’s association with the United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC.
In fact, NUBIFIE leaders have continued to accused some Labour leaders said to be unhappy with the leadership of NUBIFIE association with ULC of inducing crises in the Union for personal reasons.
A member of the Union who volunteered information on condition of anonymity , claimed the arrest might have been induced by interested parties in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, as well as some former members of the Union working with some Labour leaders who vowed that they would not accept NUBIFIE affiliation with ULC.
According to him: “These Labour leaders have written several letters to the police, DSS and our employers painting our leaders in bad light. Around June or July this year, our President was arrested on a Thursday and flown to Abuja, where he spent about four days in detention. During his detention he was pressured to either resign as President or renounce our affiliation to ULC. Several accusations were leveled against him. At the end, it was discovered that those accusations were unfounded. In fact, the accusations were earlier dismissed by the court which awarded damages in favour of our Union.
“Today (yesterday) again, as we were holding a meeting at the secretariat, fully armed policemen came without warrant of arrest, whisked away the President, the General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary. They presently detained at Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos. The plan is to keep them there till Monday since this is weekend.
These are all calculated attempts to cow us into doing their wish. The Police have refused them bail and as it is, they may be in detention all through the weekend. We are appealing to the Inspector General of Police to wade into it before it degenerates into industrial unrest in the country.”
It will be recalled that four months ago, the President was arrested and taken to Abuja, were he was allegedly asked to either resign as President of NUBIFIE or renounce the union’s affiliation with ULC. NUBIFIE however described the arrest as “politically motivated.”
Source: Vanguard News