Thugs believed to be hired by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Wednesday, allegedly attacked Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, members who were protesting against the minister’s failure to inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the NLC had been mounting pressures on the minister to expedite action in inaugurating the NSITF board chaired by one Frank Kokori.
Disclosing the incident, the President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said scores of his members were injured by the thugs, adding that many of the injured were currently at the National Hospital in Abuja for treatment.
Mr Wabba described the scene as barbaric, saying: “The act today is barbaric; where maximum force has been used on workers. And live bullets have been used on them.
“They were carrying weapons and arms. And as I talk to you, we have four people in the hospital apart from those that were injured by bullets. You can see all of them are here and clearly, we are going to invite our largest organ by tomorrow.
“We are also going on a larger scale of action. Instead of protecting us, he is against us. Therefore, we have nothing to do with him and under the circumstance, except the president intervenes, workers are going to down tool.
“That is why we are inciting our central working committee. It has never been so bad where the ministry of Labour will bring thugs to attack workers. That has never been heard.
“It is on record and everybody has seen. Clearly, that is our position and now we are here to demonstrate in his office also that we are not happy and Mr president must act on this immediately.
“Workers voted and supported him. Ngige cannot in any circumstance assume the power of the president. That cannot be the case.”