THE NIGERIAN WORKING CLASS CELEBRATES
COMRADE HASSAN ADEBAYO SUNMONU @ 80!
A Press Release
The Nigeria Labour Congress and indeed Organized Labour in Nigeria felicitates with and congratulates the Pioneer President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and a former General Secretary of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), Comrade Hassan Adebayo Sunmonu for attaining the milestone age of Eighty Years. We also celebrate Comrade Hassan Sunmonu’s twin brother– Pa Hussein Sunmonu on his birthday. Also, Pa Hassan Sunmonu’s wife, Alhaja Wasilat, marks her 76th Birthday today. This is a triple roll call of celebrations for the Sunmonus.
Comrade Hassan Adebayo Sunmonu grew up to embrace a career in activism. As a final year student of the Yaba College of Technology, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu was elected the President of the College’s Student Union Government and also became an executive member of the National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS). Upon joining the civil service in 1961 as a staff of the Federal Ministry of Works and Survey, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu became actively involved in trade unionism. He rose through the ranks to become the General Secretary of the Association of Technical Officers in the Federal Ministry of Works and Survey.
In 1969, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu became the Second Assistant Secretary of the Public Works Aerodrome Technical and General Workers’ Union. Five years later, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu was elected the President of the Public Works Aerodrome Technical and General Workers’ Union. Comrade Sunmonu discharged himself creditably in these responsibilities and thus won the admiration of many workers in Nigeria across different sectors.
It was, therefore, not surprising that when the Nigeria Labour Congress was formed in 1978, Comrade Hassan Adebayo Sunmonu was elected the first President of Congress. It was under the administration of Comrade Hassan Sunmonu that the National Minimum Wage and Minimum Pension were institutionalized with the enactment of the National Minimum Wage Act (1981). It was also during the leadership of Comrade Sunmonu that the May Day Workers Celebration was officially recognized as national holiday. Amidst other milestones, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu in February 1980 launched the “Workers Charter of Demands” which has become a beacon to successive generations of trade union leaders.
After a tour of meritorious duty in Congress, the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) in 1986 elected Comrade Hassan Sunmonu as its General Secretary. In all the leadership positions he held in the trade union movement, Comrade Hassan Adebayo Sunmonu has epitomized the principles and virtues of integrity, commitment, sacrifice, collectivism and pan-Africanism.
As Comrade Hassan Adebayo Sunmonu clocks 80 today, the entire leadership and membership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Working-Class Movement in Nigeria wish him and indeed the other Sunmonus also celebrating today many more fulfilling years of exemplary service to God, the working class and humanity.
Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni
7th January 2021