Workers who had gathered at the Asokoro, Abuja residence of Labour Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige, got more than they bargained for, Wednesday, as they violently attacked by suspected thugs.
The workers’ gathering was part of the planned the planned protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, against the minister for his failure to inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund with the former NUPENG leader, Chief Frank Kokori, as chairman.
Many workers were injured during the surprise attack and were receiving treatment at the National Hospital, Abuja, at the time of this report.
The NLC fingered Ngige as the mastermind of the fracas which its president, Ayuba Wabba, described “barbaric”.
‘The act today is barbaric,”Wabba declared. “Whereas workers went with bare hands but you have seen what has happened; maximum force has been used on workers. Live bullets have been used on them.
“They (the thugs) 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.”