The organised Labour on Monday took to the street of Abuja to protest over what it described as “unwarranted attacked” on workers who were on a peaceful protest at the Ngige’s Asokoro residence over the delay in inaugurating the board of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), last Wednesday.
Speaking while addressing the workers, President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the protest was not against the NSITF board but the attacks on workers by thugs, suspected to be hired by the minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
He described the alleged attacks on workers was undemocratic of a minister who ought to superintending over labour sector.
The NLC Leader alleged that it was the same minister that hired thugs against the defenseless workers.
Wabba, who is also president of International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) global said a directive was 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, ASUU president Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, urged President Muhammadu to conduct a psychiatric test before appointing anyone to serve as a cabinet member.
He said the call to conduct such test became necessary due to 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”.
The president of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) Comrade Marwan Mustapha Adamu on his part 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.
He said the organised has resolved to embarrass the minister anytime he is seen both within and outside the country.
The workers who assembled at the Federal Secretariat were seen with placards with different inscriptions such as “Ngige must go, He is not qualify to be a doctor but a native doctor”, “Ngige is a face of violent 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.