Ayawine takes over as ICU General Secretary

BY: George Ernest Asare
• Mr. Morgan Ayawine (3rd right), the newly elected General Secretary of ICU-Ghana, with Alhaji Nuru-Deen Alhassan (right), the Chairman, and Mr. Emmanuel Baah Benimah (middle), Deputy General Secretary-Operations, together with other executive members being sworn into office after the 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference in Accra
• Mr. Morgan Ayawine (3rd right), the newly elected General Secretary of ICU-Ghana, with Alhaji Nuru-Deen Alhassan (right), the Chairman, and Mr. Emmanuel Baah Benimah (middle), Deputy General Secretary-Operations, together with other executive members being sworn into office after the 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference in Accra

The immediate past deputy General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Mr. Morgan Ayawine, has been elevated to the position of General Secretary of the union for the next four years.

His endorsement was by popular acclamation at the 11th Quadrennial Conference of the union held at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) last Friday.

Mr. Ayawine replaced his former boss, Mr. Solomon Kotei, who ended his two terms of office.

A total of 307 delegates converged on the auditorium of the UPSA for the conference.

Dressed in an all white attire, Mr. Ayawine waved a white handkerchief as he danced to the tune of gospel music in response to cheers from delegates.

Other positions

Apart from Mr. Ayawine, who was elected unopposed during the conference, six out of 16 candidates who contested for various executive positions, including four women, went through vigorous election processes and tensed atmosphere at the conference hall before they got the nod from delegates.

While some of them easily utilised the five-minute time allocated to introduce themselves to delegates and outline their visions, aspirations and targets during their tenure in office as part of their campaign to woo delegates, others could not impress the gathering.

The six elected executive members were Alhaji Nuru-Deen Alhassan, National Chairman; Mr. Paul Kofi Charway, National Vice Chairman; Mr. Emmanuel Baah Benimah, Deputy General Secretary (Operations); Mr. Samuel Ananga, Deputy General Secretary (Administration); Mr. Charles Kojo Yeboah, National 1st Trustee and Ms. Jemima Seneye-Bentum, National 2nd Trustee.

The newly elected ICU executive members were sworn into office by the Chief Labour Officer, Mr. Eugene Korletey.

Traumatic experience

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Ayawine recalled the traumatic experience he went through after joining the ICU four decades ago.

He said besides being arrested and placed into various guard rooms in Accra and police cells in the country to cow him into submission, he was threatened on countless occasions, a situation that raised alarm among his immediate families, friends and sympathisers who implored him to abandon the union to protect his life.

He also thanked the delegates for giving him a solid team made up of “high profile personalities of knowledge, wisdom and accomplishment”.

Glowing tribute

Mr. Ayawine also paid glowing tribute to the pioneers of the ICU-Ghana and his predecessors, including the immediate past general secretary for their invaluable contributions and laying a solid foundation which had transformed the union to become a household name on the labour front.

He said in order to sustain the gains by the union over the years, the new executive will follow the “ tried and tested pathway that has been charted by my predecessor general secretaries and will especially tap into the knowledge and their expertise”.

For his part, the newly elected national chairman said the election process they went through had deepened the democratic nature of the ICU-Ghana, hence the determination of the new officers to work hard to raise the bar.

According to Alhaji Nuru-Deen, the union had come far, but they still have a long way to go, hence the need for all to collaborate to support the accelerated development of the union in diverse ways.