NLC Speaks On Accepting Buhari’s Reappointment Of Ngige As Labour Minister
NLC President Ayuba leading protesting members (Image Credit: NAN)

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) disclosed the reason the union has welcomed Chris Ngige’s reappointment as the Minister of Labour and Employment.

Concise News learnt that the NLC had earlier opposed President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice, however, Ngige was confirmed alongside 42 other Ministers on Wednesday and will resume on Monday.

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Speaking with The Guardian, the General Secretary of the NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson, said that despite the history between Congress and the former Anambra state Governor, the labour union would not needlessly antagonise the Minister.

Ozo-Eson said, “We felt that Dr Ngige should not be reappointed Minister, but now that Mr President has reappointed him, we have to accept that.

“We know it is the prerogative of the President to appoint whomsoever he wishes and that is respected.

“However, we will engage the Minister for the betterment of the working people of this country.”

Concise News had reported the rift between the NLC and the Minister of Labour and Employment, accusing him of sponsoring an attack on protesters had struck the minister’s Abuja residence.

Protesting an alleged exclusion of a member of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) from the board.

The minister had initially refused to inaugurate the NSITF board following allegations of “monumental fraud”.

While addressing journalists after a central working committee meeting on Thursday, Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, said Ngige has no right to change the appointment made by the president on the basis that he never recommended Frank Kokori to head the NSITF board.

According to Wabba, he is not fit to be a minister. He has no reason to be called the minister of labour. He is a lord of his own and therefore instead of protecting us, he is against us. Therefore we have nothing to do with him under the circumstance.

This prompted the NLC to send messages to all workers in the 163 countries who are members of the ITUC to embarrass the minister and members of his family anywhere they are seen, especially at airports where workers operate.

The real reason was a result of antagonising Chief Kokori, who was a veteran labour leader and cannot be compromised. Since the minister has been talking about the issue of corruption in the NSITF, the government should put in place a judicial commission of enquiry to investigate the agency so as to unravel who the actual corrupt persons are.

“So, we are demanding that the Board, headed by Kokori, be inaugurated and all the thugs who attacked us in the full glare of security agents be investigated and prosecuted.

“The CWC decided to embark on a national protest on Monday, May 13, in Abuja against the brutalisation of its members during the peaceful protest.

“As minister of labour, he knows that there is a clear provision of the law on picketing, lockouts and even strike action and therefore for him to have instead of addressing the issues, descended so low to the extent of using thugs to attack workers who were on a peaceful conduct of the protest, is something that is less than desirable and is anti-workers,” Wabba said.