President Jonathan has described news of the death on Tuesday of former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Paschal Bafyau at the age of 65 as shocking .The President described the late labour leader as “an unassuming man,” who was passionate about labour issues and the interest of workers.
“Bafyau displayed level-headedness, pragmatism and a good sense of reason while negotiating with government officials over the welfare of Nigerian workers,” the President said. President Jonathan also praised Bafyau’s stint in politics at both national and state levels and his contributions to the sustenance of enduring democracy, adding that the Adamawa Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in particular and the party at the national level, will miss Bafyau’s moderating influence and grassroots mobilisation capacity.
The President commiserated with the Bafyau family, the labour community and the PDP, urging them to take comfort in the fact that the late Comrade was a leading figure in the country’s labour movement where he carved a niche for himself.
President Jonathan prayed that God should give the bereaved the fortitude to bear the loss of Comrade Bafyau.
Also, Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has described the death of former President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Pascal Myeleri Bafyau as “a singular colossal loss to the Labour Movement”.
In a condolence letter to the NLC President, Comrade Abduwaheed Omar, Oshiomhole who succeeded Bafyau at the Congress, said “Comrade Pascal ahead of his contemporaries, appreciated the limitation of “bread and butter” struggle of trade unionism.
“He was convinced that organised working men and women must be politically relevant through party formation and contest for political power if they will truly overcome exploitation and ensure equitable distribution of state resources”.
Recalling Bafyau’s glowing era at the NLC, the governor said, “His tenure witnessed labour struggle against military dictatorship and official attempt to divide the labour movement. His indelible marks I took over from as the 4th President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in 1999 in the movement are significant and numerous to list.”
Noting his epic role in the formation of the mass based Labour Party in 1989, the governor who was Bafyau’s deputy for eight years, also highlighted his other contribution as the Improved minimum wage, building of the 12-Storey Labour House in Abuja, establishment of the Labour Transport Service (now Labour City Transport) and the founding of the now defunct Labour Bank (LACON). “
“He will be remembered among other numerous achievements as an advanced politically conscious Comrade who led formation and registration of the Labour Party as early as 1990s”, Oshiomhole said.
Expressing the heartfelt condolences of the government and people of Edo State to the Labour Movement and the Bafyau family for this irreparable loss, the governor prayed to the Almighty God for the repose of the soul of the departed comrade.
In a related development, The Nigerian Labour Movement and the family of late Comrade Paschal Bafyau, a former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC who just passed on have been told to take solace in the worthy legacy that he left behind. Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel stated this in a message of condolence on the death of the foremost labour leader. He said Comrade Bafyau would be remembered for repositioning the labour movement during his tenure and for making the welfare of workers the fulcrum of his administration.
“The death of Comrade Paschal Bafyau is a big loss to the labour movement in Nigeria. With the death of comrade Bafayau Nigeria has lost a dogged fighter for the right of the downtrodden and a committed labour leader who braved the odds to fight for a better deal for Nigerian workers. I commiserate with the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, the entire workers of the country, the labour movement as well as the family and associates of the departed labour leader.”
Otunba Daniel prayed for the repose of the soul of Comrade Bafayau and for God to give his comrades, labour leaders and family members the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
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