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Misleading! NLC’s comment on Imo governorship elections taken out of context

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Claim: A Facebook user purports that the Nigerian Labour Congress said that elections don’t need to be held in Imo state. 

Misleading! NLC’s comment on Imo governorship elections taken out of context

Verdict: Misleading! The video of the Nigerian Labour Congress representative speaking on Channels TV shows he was asking a question, not making a statement on the election.

Full Text

Different reactions have trailed the forthcoming off-cycle elections in Imo, Kogi, and Bayelsa on Nov. 11, 2023. Nigeria’s electoral body and electorates have expressed concern over the wave of insecurity in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi ahead of the governorship elections in the states.

Off-cycle elections are held outside the general election schedule due to circumstances such as death, resignation, impeachment, annulment of elections by courts, and many more. 

Recently, Christian Ejiofor, in a Facebook post queried a statement accredited to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on the election in Imo State. 

The alleged statement read, “It Is Not Compulsory For Election To Be Held In Imo.”

Mr Ejiofor, however, noted he is not sure if the statement came from the union. 

Mr Ejiofor noted that the Union is supposed to be a non-partisan. He alleged that the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, is trying to use the union to destabilise Imo state. 

Other Facebook users in the comment section also expressed doubt, like Obi Chioma who wrote, “I doubt if NLC made this bizarre comment. Time will tell.”

Another user, Remi Obidegwu, condemning the comment, wrote, “If such comment is (the) fact, it is wrong. It will pave the way for the wrong candidate to emerge. It is (the) masses still suffering.” 

The uncertainty of the Facebook user’s allegation prompted DUBAWA to investigate it. 

Verification 

DUBAWA conducted a keyword search to unravel the mystery and found a post linked to a news blog, Nigerian Anchor, with the headline “It’s Not Mandatory For Election To Hold In Imo On Saturday -NLC.”

In the news article, the writer explained that NLC raised concerns about the Nov. 11 governorship election in Imo State, suggesting that it may not proceed as scheduled. This was credited to an NLC representative during an interview on Channels TV on Nov 8, 2023. 

We then proceeded to search for the said video on Channels TV’s YouTube page. We found the interview between the Channels TV presenters Maupe Ogun and Ayo Makinde and the NLC Head of International Relations, Uchenna Ekwe, on Sunrise Daily. 

Mr Ekwe expressed his dissatisfaction over the statement of the Governor of Imo state, accusing the union president of being involved in politics. He stated that the accusation was a cheap blackmail.

He revealed that the governor was issued a letter asking for the payment of salaries in Imo state, and instead of obliging, he went to court, which is why the NLC decided to embark on a strike in the state. 

When asked about the effect of the strike on the Nov. 11 elections, The NLC Head of International Relations queried the interviewer on whether the election was compulsory to hold. “Must there be elections in Imo state? Will the world end if there is no election in Imo State?” He queried.

He said they are going on strike regardless of the elections in the state. 

The claim that the NLC said elections were not compulsory in Imo was taken out of context, as the NLC representative was making a query, not a statement on the election. 

Conclusion

The claim that the NLC has said it was not compulsory for elections to be held in Imo State was taken out of context. Mr Ekwe only queried if the election must hold while emphasising that the Congress’ strike would continue whether or not the election holds. 

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