A tribute on Comrade Henry Odugala by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress during the tribute session held for Comrade Odugala at Labour House, Abuja on
Wednesday, 23rd November, 2016
It is with shock and disbelief that we received the news of the death of one of our most reliable, vocal, principled, intelligent and consistent Comrades, the General Secretary of one of the affiliate unions of NLC, Comrade Henry Odugala in the early hours of Friday, 4th November 2016.
Comrade Odugala’s death is a set back to the entire labour movement as the movement need the services of young, vibrant, intelligent, active, committed and focused Comrades like Comrade Henry Odugala who spent nearly all his active life organising against all forms of oppression and exploitation. It is on record that he was actively involved in the student movement when he was an undergraduate at the University of Benin where he studied History. Throughout his working life, he was actively involved in the trade union movement culminating in his election as Chapter Chairman and later Edo State Council Chairman of the Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union of Nigeria, RATTAWU as a worker at the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, Benin.
During the struggle against military dictatorship, he was actively involved in mobilising Nigerians for the return of civil rule through several organisations, some of which he led. He was a strong member of Nigeria’s premier human rights organisation, the Civil Liberties Organisation. He was also Chairman of the Edo State Branch of the Campaign for Democracy. Henry was deeply involved in the struggles for democracy across the country.
Since becoming General Secretary of RATTAWU, we have benefitted from his rich contributions to discussions on critical issues at both the Central Working Committee and the National Executive Council meetings. His inputs were well informed and demonstrated his commitment to building a strong trade union movement with enduring democratic tradition.
Comrade Henry Odugala would be missed by the entire labour movement in Nigeria as his towering intellectual presence, organisational discipline and ideological clarity has been of tremendous value to the movement and these have tremendously strengthened the movement.
We will continue to pray that God grant him eternal mercy and a peaceful rest and also give the family, friends and all those he left behind all they would require to bear his eternal absence.