Attack on workers: Sack Ngige now, not fit for public office ― NLC tells Buhari

•Says we are ready to be killed by Ngige's thugs

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) rose from it’s Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Abuja on Thursday and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, following the attacks on labour leaders and workers who protested to his residence on Wednesday by thugs.

While demanding for his sack, the Congress said Ngige is not fit to hold a public office at any level, adding that President Buhari should sack him immediately, while he should not reappoint him to any position in his government.

Besides, the NLC said it will hold a national protest on Monday to show their displeasure on the actions and activities of the minister and press their demand for his sack from the President’s cabinet.

Addressing a press conference after the CWC meeting held at the Labour House, Abuja, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the minister was not acting in the interest of President Buhari on the inauguration of the board of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund.

It could be recalled that the minister had unleashed thugs on the NLC members and their leadership who were protesting in his residence on Wednesday, over the Minister’s refusal to inaugurate the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The protesters were attacked by thugs with dangerous weapons; a situation which landed about nine of them in hospital.

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Comrade Wabba also demanded an unreserved apology from the government who had remain silence on the issue and the minister; insisting that the President must carry out a full investigation of everybody involved in the attack.

A communique issued at the end of the meeting read in part: “The CWC noted that the use of thuggery to resolve issues of dispute introduces new dangerous dimensions in labour relations whose outcome cannot easily be predicted as no one has monopoly of violence.

“CWC expressed shock that security forces watched with detached indifference as hoodlums unleashed mayhem at defenceless workers. It similarly expressed dismay that no voice has been heard from the government condemning this unnecessary display of savagery and primitivism.

“Accordingly, the CWC resolved to demand for an unconditional and unqualified apology from the government both for the primitive behavior of its Minister and its suspicious silence, explaining that whereas the Vice President found it necessary to step out of his car to address indigenous communities which were protesting against the forceful acquisition of their land by the military, the minister resorted to recruiting thugs to engage workers.

“The CWC resolved to hold Dr Chris Ngige and members of his family personally responsible for the violence visited on the workers and injuries that they suffered, adding they have sown a seed of violence.

“The CWC also resolved to send his name and names of his immediate family members to all airports, train stations, shipping ports and all public entry and exit point around the world in other to be visited upon them protest/disgrace for their ignominious role in the violence unleashed against workers.

“The CWC resolved that in consideration of Ngige’s past records of trading off his conscience for power as evidenced by Okija, his reputation for using thugs against the citizenry, and his questionable acts around NSITF, he is not fit to hold public office.

“The CWC called for the arrest and prosecution of the thugs and their sponsors since they are well known.

“The CWC demanded that government should come clean about what is happening.

“The CWC resolved to embark on a national protest on Monday, May 13, 2019, in Abuja against the brutalization of its members by the Ngige thugs, and has accordingly directed its members and civil society allies to commence immediate mobilisation.

“The CWC resolved that they were ready to be killed by the thugs hired by Dr Ngige or security agents who maintained a complicitous silence while its members were being mowed down.

“Finally, the CWC also demanded that the board of the NSITF  be inaugurated with Chief Frank Kokori as Chairman without further delay, as the funds at the NSITF belong to workers, warning that anything to the contrary is capable of inviting more protests.”

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