President Goodluck Jonathan has described the death of the former NLC President, Mr Pascal Bafyau, as shocking.
Bafyau died on Tuesday at the age of 65.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the President described Bafyau as ``an unassuming man’’.
Jonathan said that Bafyau was passionate about labour issues and the interest of workers.
``Bafyau displayed level-headedness, pragmatism and a good sense of reason, while negotiating with government officials over the welfare of Nigerian workers,” the President said.
He also praised Bafyau’s stint in politics at both national and state levels and his contributions to the sustenance of enduring democracy.
Jonathan said that the Adamawa chapter of the PDP, in particular, and the party at the national level would miss Bafyau’s moderating influence and grassroots mobilisation capacity.
He commiserated with the Bafyau’s family, the labour community and the PDP.
The President urged them to take solace in the fact that the late comrade was a leading figure in the country’s labour movement where he carved a niche for himself.
He prayed God to give the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss.
In a related development, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, has described the death of Bafyau as shocking.
Reacting to the news of Bafyau’s death, the minister eulogised the late labour leader for his resilient efforts at improving the welfare of the Nigerian workers.
``Nigeria has lost a foremost labour leader as evident in the negotiation of the National Minimum Wage of 1991,’’ the minister, said in a statement on Wednesday.
``We have lost a foremost labour leader, an astute politician, whose wealth of experience can be drawn upon as we move toward a paradigm shift in labour-government relationship.’’
Meanwhile, the NLC in Abuja on Wednesday also expressed shock and deep sorrow over Bafyau’s death.
The NLC said in a statement that throughout his life, the late Bafyau lived in the best traditions of the labour movement.
``He worked hard for sustainable democracy in the country and 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.
Bafyau was NLC president from 1988 to 1994.
It was during his tenure that the 12-storey Labour House was built in Abuja as well as the establishment of the Labour Transport Service.
He 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, the Nigeria Agricultural Land Development Authority and the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund, among others.