The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday led Nigerian workers to the streets of Abuja to protest what it described as “unwarranted attacked” on workers who were on a peaceful protest at the Asokoro residence of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige over the delayed in inaugurating the board of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) on Wednesday.
Speaking at the rally, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to conduct a psychiatric test before appointing anyone to serve as a cabinet member.
Ogunyemi said the call to conduct such test became necessary due the ongoing fracas between workers and the minister in-charge of labour and Employment who ordinary should understand the working of labour.
“ASUU as a union condemned this attack on workers by a man who should protect and defense them. To say the least, we lost confidence on such. We are also calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to conduct a psychiatric test on each of his cabinet members to ascertain their mental stability; this according to him would save the country an embarrassment as this”.
President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba who led the protest said they were not protesting against the NSITF board, but the attacked on workers by thugs suspected to have been hired by the Minister.
Read Also: NLC wants judicial Commission to investigate NSITF
The Central Working Committee of the NLC had ordered the one day national protest at end of its emergency meeting last Thursday, while insisting that the Minister was not worthy to continue in office as their Minister.
Wabba said the attacked on workers was undemocratic especially on the part of a minister who ought to superintend over the labour sector as the chief arbiter of the federation, but regretted that it was the same minister who hired thugs against the defenseless workers.
Wabba who is also president of International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) global said a directive has issued to all 162 members countries to picket Ngige anywhere around the world.
“We are here today to register our displeasure with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige for hiring suspected thugs to attack us on Wednesday during a peaceful protest/picketing at his residence.
“The minister attitude was against international best practices as well as the ILO conventions and even Nigeria Constitution that guaranteed the right of workers to protest and picking. Instead of Mr. Ngige to dialogue with us, he resorted to hiring thugs to attack us.
“We are not here today because of the NSITF board has been inaugurated. But our concerned right now is the attack on our members. We are saying that Ngige is not fit for a public office and president Buhari should do the needful before such a man destroy his government”.
Also Speaking at the rally which took place at the ministry of Labour while the NSITF board was being inaugurated at the Presidential villa, Pesident of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) Comrade Marwan Mustapha Adamu called for an urgent investigation with a view of bringing to book the hired thugs who attacked and caused various degrees of injuries on workers.
Comrade Marwan said the national protest/picketing was to show to Nigerians and the world that Labour will always stand for her right, adding that organised has resolved to embarrass the minister anytime he is seen both within and outside the country.
The workers carried placards some of which reads Ngige must go, He is not qualify to be a doctor but a native doctor, Ngige is a face of violence cabal in Buhari Government, How long can a public officer go before he is sack, Sack Blood thirsty Ngige now and a host of others.
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