By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
There is anxiety among members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Kwara state following its botched 5th triennial delegates conference rescheduled for November 7, 2020 from the previous June 30, 2020.
Before the botched conference, delegates and national officers from Lagos had arrived Ilorin, the state capital.
A source explained to Western Post that guests had already checked into their various hotels on June 29th, when a directive came from the state technical committee on COVID-19, asked the union to suspend the conference.
In a letter signed and titled “Enforcement of COVID -19 Protocols ” by Mr J.O Asha on behalf of the state deputy governor and chairman, technical committee on COVID-19, Mr. Kayode Alabi, the committee cited that “rising cases of COVID -19 and risk associated with public gatherings” as reasons for its suspension asking the planning committee to pick a new date.
Although, the TUC executives lamented that it had expended hugely in preparation for the largest gathering of the union and members are expected to elect new officers that will run the affairs of the union for another term, but had no option than to comply.
Consequently, a new date of September 26th,2020 was proposed to the technical committee by the state caretaker committee for the conference to hold.
As it had happened the first time, the technical committee on COVID-19 also rejected the proposed date, insisting that there was the need to avoid public gathering that could cause a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.
According to the TUC caretaker chairman, Ezekiel Alex Adegoke, the COVID -19 technical committee then suggested November, 2020 when it predicted that the curve of coronavirus infection would have been flattened.
Adegoke lamented that while the TUC had picked November 7 and printed another programme, it received another letter from COVID -19 technical committee asking the TUC to hold it conference on October 7 and letter picked October 21, 2020.
But the two dates were also rejected by the TUC who also argued that they both fell on weekdays during which some workers like Bankers union and PENGASEN would be disenfranchised.
TUC instead that it would stick to November which was earlier suggested by the technical committee.
Following it picked November 7 to hold the long-awaited conference which will also be the first of its kind to be hosted in Kwara state.
There has not been any further official reaction to the new date, as the TUC caretaker committee chairman, however, alleged that some forces hell-bent on paving way for a candidate without allowing the election to hold were at work.