Abuja — The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed shock over the death of its former President Comrade Paschal Bafyau last Tuesday.
The NLC's reaction to the death of its former leader was contained in a press statement issued Wednesday by the President of NLC Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar.
According to Omar: "It is with shock and deep sorrow but with total submission to the Almighty, that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) announces the passing away of its former President, Comrade Paschal Myeleri Bafyau."
Bafyau who passed on at 11.30pm on Tuesday 15th May, 2012 was the NLC President betwen 1988 to 1994.
Omar further stated that: "The five years during which he was NLC President were the turbulent years of Generals Babangida and Abacha regimes. Comrade Bafyau had been elected NLC President in December 1988 after a ten-month seizure of the Congress by the Babangida regime. His Presidency ended in 1994 when the Military under General Abacha again seized the Congress.
"Despite this turbulent period in the country's history, which included the June 12 crises, Comrade Bafyau made remarkable achievements as NLC President. These include the building of the 12-Storey Labour House in Abuja; establishment of the Labour Transport Service (now Labour City Transport); the founding of the now defunct Labour Bank (LACON); and the establishment of the old Labour Party in 1989.
"But perhaps what he would be best remembered for was the strive for a strong and united Labour Movement. This, saw in 1988, the uniting of the two factions of the NLC, the Democrats and Progressives, which were engaged in a fratricidal ideological struggle"
During his life time, Bafyau was appointed Chairman of the National Mass Education Commission Board in 2009. He was also a member of the 1986 Political Bureau and the 1987 Constituent Assembly. He was also a board member of the Urban Development Bank (UDBN); the Nigeria Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), and the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
Bafyau dedicated his adult life to the Labour Movement beginning from 1969 when at 22, he was elected the North East Branch Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Railwaymen (NUR) where he rose to become the union's General Secretary in 1982.
Omar further stated that: "Throughout his life, Comrade Bafyau lived in the best traditions of the Labour Movement. He worked hard for sustainable democracy in the country. He also shunned material things; despite the height he attained in labour and politics, as at the time of his death, he lived in a rented house in Abuja. His death is a big blow to the Labour Movement and the democratic process in the country."