President Jonathan Congratulates Pro-Government Candidate Kaigama Over Flawed TUC Election

Outgoing TUC President Peter Esele
By SaharaReporters, New York

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated pro-government candidate Bobboi Kaigama of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) on his election yesterday as President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Mr. Jonathan welcomed Mr. Kaigama’s declaration that under his leadership the TUC will work with the government and private sector employers for the benefit of workers and all Nigerians. Returning the compliment, Mr. Jonathan said he and the Federal Government would cooperate with Mr. Kaigama and his new team to fulfill this commitment and enhance cordial industrial relations in Nigeria in furtherance of the present administration’s agenda for “national transformation.”

Kaigama’s election comes with considerable controversy that may seriously embarrass the government.  To begin with, Kaigama, a Director in the Taraba State civil service, was relieved of his post prior to the election, accused of suspected involvement in Boko Haram activities. He is currently challenging the allegations in court, but with President Jonathan’s endorsement, it is unlikely that case will be fairly heard.

In the contest, against Comrade Babatunde Ogun of PENGASSAN, he had the active support of Comrade Peter Esele, a pro-government operative who deployed everything in his arsenal to stop Comrade Ogun from succeeding him as the President General of TUC.  Esele operated through the group known as G-Force, which is led mainly by ASCSN, with seven unions in its fold. Esele is also said to have vowed never to permit  Ogun, to take over the helms of TUC because of Ogun's “disloyalty” during an incident at the first anniversary of the fuel subsidy strike action of January 2012.  

Despite the heavy artillery of the government and Comrade Esele behind Kaigama, some labour affiliates say he was ineligible to contest the position in the first place as he belonged to the management cadre, citing international best practices to support the argument he should not even preside over a labour association let alone lead a robust labour centre.

With that in mind and the apparent willingness of Esele's NAC to entertain the breach, the labour affiliates sent a protest letter to the Minister of Labour. But Esele, working through the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, subverted the protest by instructing the Ministry to ignore the protest and portray Ogun as an enemy of the state.  

Going further, Esele also went to the President’s Chief of Staff and other aides to tell them that Ogun is against Jonathan's presidency and re-election, offering as “proof” Ogun’s readiness to be a willing tool in the hands of the opposition during the subsidy protest, and suggesting that he is Yoruba, and therefore anti- South-South.

Peter Esele has not been a popular trade union figure in the country since January 2012 when, along with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Abdulwaheed Omar, he helped to abort the popular “Occupy Nigeria” protest against the government.   

A source revealed to SaharaReporters shocking details of how the leadership of the TUC and the NLC conspired to undermine and kill the mass movement following the sudden increase in the pump price of petrol from N75.OO to N140.OO. After the collapse of the protest and in view of the deaths of some protesters, Esele faced considerable outrage about having sold out to the government, including on Tweet where he could not defend himself successful.

Comrade Esele ran to his PENGASSAN constituency for assistance in the form of a rebuttal of the damning allegations against him but met a brick wall from the Ogun-led executive. Whilst PENGASSAN was waiting to have a NEC resolution on its participation in the subsidy protest, Esele was alleged to be telling members of the public especially PENGASSAN's national PRO monitoring the protest in Abuja that the government was not taking the protest seriously because PENGASSAN was yet to come on board. He also subtly instigated the militant wing of PENGASSAN to endorse the gradual winding down of the wells as a tool to pressurise the government. And after using the situation to curry financial benefits from President Jonathan's government, he made a U-turn with his NLC counterpart in a press statement to say PENGASSAN could not go on strike without TUC directing such action, barely two hours after PENGASSAN NEC at great personal risks in Abuja in the midst of heavy security presence endorsed a programmed strike action.

After the leadership of PENGASSAN refused to write a rejoinder to save Esele's dented public image, the TUC President General reached out to President Jonathan and other forces to undermine PENGASSAN's aspirations to provide TUC leadership.  One argument presents is that the oil work force faced massive unemployment if the Petroleum Industry Bill, which vests enormous powers in the Minister of Petroleum Resources is passed in its present form. PENGASSAN has repeatedly stated its preference for a well-articulated law with less government interference which would create a more conducive environment for both local and international players in the oil sector for the benefit of the masses.

The Harmony Group, which supported Ogun in yesterday’s elections, has 10 unions in its fold and is led mainly by PENGASSAN; the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions; Air Traffic Senior Staff Association of Nigeria; Chemical and Metal Products Senior Staff Association; and the Food, Beverages and Tobacco Senior Staff Association, among others.

From the delegates strength of the unions in each group, Harmony Group appeared poised to carry the day in a free and fair contest, given that it had over 400 of about 700 delegates for the election, in contrast to the G Force’s less than 300.

Esele, sensing defeat, then resorted to a variety of tricks to thwart the Harmony Group, including threats, coercion and intimidation of persons and unions in the group, sponsoring of petitions against certain persons, and blackmail of Ogun to the presidency.  In the end, the election was elevated from a contest of ideas between two people seeking to lead a labour centre to one involving the government and impinging on Mr. Jonathan’s election prospects in 2015.

Our sources say Esele's desperation is traceable to the fear that if Ogun won the election, he would probe him over the use of the N1billion he collected from the Jonathan government to buy buses and establish a TUC mass transit company to ease the transportation woes of the masses following the subsidy removal last year.  

In his congratulatory message today, President Jonathan expressed the faith that with Mr. Kaigama’s notable antecedents, excellent credentials as a labour leader and experience as President of the large Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, he is fully equipped to succeed as President of one of the two major conglomerations of trade unions in the country.”

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I love this site, but there are some things on here that just make me cringe, which is good I guess, because it keeps me re-examining. Jordan is a pretty interesting character, but I don’t think people should be blindly accepting everything he offers as being the greatest idea ever Mens Oris Watches

Why all this Nosense?

It would have been more dignifying to concentrate on unity of the congress and welfare of Nigerian workers post TUC election than all these lies and fabrication of a wicked minds intended to settle personal scores. You are at the end of the day glorifying your oppressors and things that disunite workers. At the end of the day, all the actors you have castigated are friends. The past leaders have no single vote and did not campaign for any of the aspirants and neither was there any representatives of the Presidency during the election. Ebele Jonathan or Shina Luwoye should not be brought into your politics of turn by turn. Tunde Ogun, Peter Esele and Kaigama should settle down and work for Nigerian workers - election is over

TUC Elections

I read your report on TUC electios with rude shock,as an Akokite.If the winner was ineligible,Ogun and his noise makers would have filed a petitio to TUC CWC and NEC that could have stopped the man from contesting.You based your report on what Ogun and Olowoshile told you.You should ask "y" Ogun is desperate.When he won Pengassan election,the election was not rigged!He should be told to go back to his job in Mobil.He does not even have the capacity for the office.He is a very fraudulent and corrupt individual.Pengassan has lost credibility durin vanguuard..Pengassan a bad Employer of Labor.Ogun and his cohot always go to the collect Estacode which they share without travelling anywhere or just go for holiday,isn't that fraud and corruption? The truth is that Ogun is a politician and the office is for a unionist.A former president known as Shina Luwoye,a shell employee is misguiding Ogun 'cos he's part of the fraud and stealing in Pengassan.


2.Am also sure that you are also blowing a tribal trumpet here as well
Finally,objective and unbiased reporting call for hearing from both parties, but in your haste to work for the inducement you received from your sponsors you never respect this simple golden rule of best practice Journalism, which demands hearing from both sides.
In the past I have been warned by many Nigerians not to believe in what Sahara Reporters published but I never listened now,I know better.


3.Did you sent your reporters to observe this election, if yes did they actually reported what you published. If you did not send you reporters to observe the elections how did you conclude that the elections were rigged. Attempts by some unscrupulous elements to rigged the elections was vehemently resisted by the delegates and yet you never reported this.
From your reporting two things become very obvious:
1.You were compromised and from the antecedent of those sponsoring this garbage am quite sure that your were paid to publish this fabrications.


2. Please kindly quote the relevant sections of the extant laws or guideline that bars a Director from becoming a member of a registered union. President Kaigama is from the same union with me (ASSOCIATION OF SENIOR CIVIL SERVANTS OF NIGERIA),Aka ASCN,and the immediate past President of this Association Comrade Olaitan was a senior serving Director in the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, until his retirement last year. In which capacity he sat as a member of the Central Working Committtee of TUC. The immediate past chairman of my Unit is a director. So what do you mean by reporting that President Kaigama was not qualified to run for the elections. This was of course the lies spread by other contestants that were pursuing a smear campaign based of personalisation of matters rather intellect and ideas. Those that were afraid of a Kaigama victory at the polls rather than accept the overwhelming decision of TUC delegates decided to sell such lies to the public.


I want to refute your report by responding to the lies you published one by one:
1.Comrade Bala Bobboi Kaigama who you labeled a government candidate was until last month fighting the PDP led government headed by Governor Suntai of Taraba State in court over his unlawful dismissal from the state civil service for refusal to mortgage the rights of the Taraba state civil servants in respect to the full implementation of the Minimum wage for Taraba State Workers.For the past 6 months he has been fighting in court to have his dismissal reverse and allthis whilr SR never realise that he was accused of involvlvement with BH,but now tht he has won the Election you now felt the need to hang thid ridiculous and laughable tag on him' Less than one month after he is now a government candidate. If you were not bias you would have been honest enough to know who has connections and VIP access to the government machinery among those contending for the post of President of TUC.


Am shocked about the tissues of lies you wrote regarding the TUC National delegates election which held in Abuja on from the 21st to to 22 nd of June,2013.As a reporter you ought to be fair and unbiased in your reporting without taking sides . One would have expected you to congratulate TUC leadership and members for conducting very credible, free and transparent elections which was midwifed, supervised and conducted by about 10 TUC elders including including 3 ex Presidents of PENGASSAN.

peter esele is on cash now.

peter esele is on cash now. the most lucky guy that took advantage of corrupt system in the name of lobbying. i love him bcause he now invest massively in Nigeria not outside our shores

Shame on you

Yes, they are all thieves, milking on innocent workers. Under esele and Salako, disengaged Mainstreet bank staff suffered, they are still suffering. The bank has not settled them as the law stipulates. It is envisaged that esele and Salako compromised. God will judge them, they can not take the money to heaven. Thiefy thiefy unions. Your time of judgement is near.

So, you believed SR story.

So, you believed SR story. Please, wake up! SR is now a gossip megaphone.


We stop having quality labor leader after Oshomole the governor of edo state. And we cant get such leader again. The rest na thief thief



Please furnish us with

Please furnish us with details of how the election was held(figure) rather than assuming their was a foul play that led to the emergence of Hon. Bobboi Kaigama of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), to succeed Hon. Peter Esele!

from Mr "Esele-out" to Mr "Bomboy" -- problem has changed name

For avoidance of doubt, all this corrupt labour leaders who feed from government hand like to answer very correct nomenclature.

Before we have Mr. Peter "Esele-out" who chopped hefty payout from Jona to sabotage Occupy movement of January last year. An individual who likes to shout "Aluta" but inside close door he is just "A looter".

Now it is "Bomboy" Kaigama. Who be him papa? We know, na.

Everyday na the same thing.

Is Esele different from Dokubo?

Is rather on heard of that you go against your constituency,but Esele's case is not different from Dokubo ,when he was seen in the midst of like of Gani,Beko during the struggle as freedom fighters but immediately he found himself into aso villa the song changed and the masses should go to hell while he partake in the cake sharing.Esele is a member of irrelevant SUREp but got to TUC through support of PENGASSAN where he was immediate past president ,so how does one reconcile is preference of a pro-govt to freedom fighter,aso rock induced!

Kaigama’s notable antecedents

Before nko? Can you beat the Govt. in governing?

Haba SaharaReporters!!!

So where isbthe offense of President Jonathan in all elaborated? Was the election rigged? Did Esele prevent the 400-majority Harmony Group from voting? Why didn't Ogun put forward this catalogue of accusations against Esele before Nigerians before he failed an election that no delegate has complained about? Must PENGASSAN monopolize the leadership og TUC because it is the leading association? If SaharaReporters supported the Amechi victory at the NGF even after the other party complained, why denigrate democracy in this regard? If kaigama was government candidate, then Ogun was opposition candidate?

Why must we bash this President at every point to be considered vibrant? This story is at best insulting and the allegations spurious and will not commend SR to even less than thebcritical public. It is sad!!!

Kaigama's election

There is no comrade in the labour movement anymore. All of them are thieves, including the Babatunde Ogun guy. its all chop I chop.

This is Nigeria for U...

North to south, east to west, the story is still the same-there are only 2 classes of people; Good and Bad. Religion or region does not affect their conduct because you cannot and will never give what u don't have.
amazingly we think our leadership is our challenge but, I disagree with this opinion to every large extent. In every society, there must be leaders(L) and Followers(F).The Ls are the products of the Fs so,the Ls are a mirror reflection of the Fs. The Nigerian masses got served and believe me, give any opportunity to any of us voicing our opinions on SR to serve the nation and u will be embarrassed at what we might become. Imagine what just happened in the TUC.Nigerians will rather die than vote a good leader and most often, the premised their poor sense of judgement on rumours, poverty, intimidation etc.

i thgt as much

I thght as much that peter esele is a dubious young man, wif just his own personal interest in mind! U just wicked..

Labour thieving Leaders

To be candid,i have never trusted any of the modern day so-called labour leaders.The only labour leader workers had that served them selflessly was Pa Imoudu, who lived by example.The other labour leaders after him till date are nothing but bunch of thieves and government contractors.Peter Esele is a clever young man who is obsessed with materialism and selfish interests in all he does.This guy is stupendously rich,feeding fat on the sweat of workers and government patronage.With his likes in Nigerian politics,there is no hope for the country.Shame on Esele the traitor.


Read the news report on the former VP Atiku's comment on the committee constituted by PDP caucus to reconcile PDP warring factions carried by Vanguard newspaper and compare it to one carried by other newspapers to believe that some newspapers are merely on pauperised journalism. I wonder how a newspaper has ill-courage and lacking in morality to twist a news report for the sake of money. Instead to report that the committee was headed by president it kept on saying the committee established by president. This is to conceal the reality about other people complain on the misappropriation in constituting the committee. Such journalism is a total abuse of ethic and distortion of real information for citizens.


This article is apparently sponsored by the sore losers of the recently concluded begin with ,I am from Taraba state and know Bobboi very well,his travails with the Taraba state government has nothing to do with Boko Haram;its purely the machinations of a group that is not comfortable with his rising profile as a labour activist and in anticipation of his quest to aspire for the Presidency of TUC ;hence the plot to frustrate his efforts by hoodwinking the Taraba state government to get involved by putting all sorts of obstacles along his path.The matter has already been resolved amicably.Sahara reporters please do not disappoint your esteem readers by allowing these losers to use you as a propaganda tool.I am confident that comrade Bobboi has come at the right time;just wait and see the positive developments that will be recorded very soon.


Are you in a hurry? When Jonathan wanted to rule Nigeria in 2011 did he seek it from God? He sought it from Obasanjo and PDP Governors. Where is Obasanjo and those Governors? They've been dumped and thrown away by Jonathan? By so doing is has he confidence in Nigerians? No! Then why? Because he did nothing to Nigerians except deceiving and fabricating lies through his mouthpieces called Rolling Abati and Attacking hyena Doya Takife. Then God has dumped him too since he neither does what he has promised to do to Nigerians before God nor what he agreed to do with those he dumped. He is now left with the money collectors who will dump him when time comes and go to those they know would give them what they wanted.

To gain cheap popularity in

To gain cheap popularity in the present day journalism, you just need to pick hole(s) in any action of the president and every attention will be on you. As it stands today, the press has lost some core values they were known for back in those days because of their 'cash and carry' journalism. Sahara Reporters is loosing it. If an election does not in anyway favour their perceived sponsors' candidate it is rigged! Lets all wake up and call a spade a spade!

Biased Report..

Oya SR..give us the 'other' side of the story..Let us b the Judge..

So much for fighting terrorism indeed !

"To begin with, Kaigama, a Director in the Taraba State civil service, was relieved of his post prior to the election, accused of suspected involvement in Boko Haram activities. He is currently challenging the allegations in court, but with President Jonathan’s endorsement, it is unlikely that case will be fairly heard."

So a man sanctioned for being involved in terrorist activity is being congratulated by GEJ for becoming a leader of a union ! So much for fighting terrorism indeed !

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