16th May, 2012
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has described the death of Pascal Bafyau, its former President late on Tuesday night in Abuja as a big blow to labour movement in Nigeria. Comrade Bafyau was elected NLC President in December 1988 and was in the office till 1994.
In statement signed by its President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar titled “Labour Giant Passes On! Issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Congress noted that the five years Bafyau was NLC President were the turbulent years as the period falls under the military dictatorship of Generals Babangida and Abacha regimes.
“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.
“Bafyau was Board Chairman of the National Mass Education Commission from 2009, 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).
“Comrade 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), and rose to be the NUR General Secretary in 1982.
“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”, NLC said in the tribute.