NSITF, USE OF THUGS AGAINST PROTESTERS: NLC PROTESTS MONDAY

Wabara and Ngige

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will hold a one day national protest in Abuja on Monday following the attack on its members who were on a peaceful protest.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC president said this at the end of an emergency meeting of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the NLC on Thursday in Abuja.

According to Wabba, the protest is against the action of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige who engaged thugs to disrupt workers’ peaceful protest on Wednesday.

He, therefore, demanded an unreserved apology from the minister and the Federal Government over the action it said infringed on the fundamental right of workers to protest.

Wabba called for the inauguration of the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NISTF), with Mr Frank Kokori as its Chairman without further delay.

The NLC members were on Wednesday attacked by thugs at Ngige residence, with 9 person injured.

The workers had gone there to picket the house over the delay by the minister to inaugurate the board of the NSITF.

Meanwhile, Ngige has given the leadership of the NLC seven to apologise for the invasion of his private residence or face the consequences of their action.

Ngige stated this in a statement signed by Mr Nwachukwu Obidiwe, his Special Assistant on Media.

According to him, the minister is consulting on the appropriate legal actions against the illegality by the NLC.

“The thrust of today’s press conference by the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC) Comrade Ayuba Waba is predictable.

“Hence, we succinctly wish to respond that the sanctity of the provisions of section 37 of the 1999 constitution on the rights of all Nigerians to private life cannot be annulled by an inferior provisions of the Labour Act on picketing.

“The invasion and obstruction of the private residence of the Minister of Labour and Employment, preventing him, his wife, children and families of his personal aides, quartered in the same compound and throwing them into huge trauma, is illegal and inexcusable under the guise of unionism.

“Worse, when Comrade Ayuba Waba with ferocious looking drivers and thugs, invaded the house of the minister by 4 o’clock in the morning, blocking the entrance with two 33,000 liter-capacity tankers, fully laden with premium motor spirit, the NLC leader was certainly not picketing.

“His conduct is arson with a clear intention to cause maximum destruction,” he said.

He added that it was outside the ambit of NLC powers to issue directives to the Federal Government on how to carry out its responsibilities.

He however, said that plans are on for the inauguration of the board of the NSITF, and it shall take place soonest.

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