- Chris Ngige says he is considering, with his neighbour, to sue the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for blocking their houses
- Ngige denies sending thugs to beat up the protesting labour union leaders and its members when they picketed his house
- The minister accuses the president of the NLC of equating himself with Muhammadu Buhari
Labour and employment minister, Chris Ngige, has said he and his neighbour are considering taking legal action against the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for blocking their houses during a protest.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ngige said this when he spoke with State House correspondents on Thursday, May 9, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister said blocking his house was an infringement on his fundamental human rights and that of his household as they were all traumatised.
The report quoted Ngige as denying the allegations of attacks, saying that reports he read in the dailies were unfortunate and misleading.
Ngige said that NLC members arrived at his resident at 4:30 am in the morning and that when the security people accosted them, they discovered that it was the president of the NLC himself that came physically with two tankers, one laden with petrol and one half-full.
The minister said he immediately contacted the FCT commissioner of police and the director of SSS as well the FRSC to see if the tankers could be removed.
He added that his findings showed that the NLC members were attacked by the thugs they hired over some disagreements.
“They put one at the gate of my house and put the other one at the gate of the other house which happens to be that of my neighbour.
“People in that compound were traumatised; some of the cooks and policemen who have quarters were traumatised," he said adding: "Even my neighbours, the husband and wife and their children could not do their business yesterday."
He said the tankers were removed later adding that it was quite unfortunate.
“My neighbour said they would take legal action; me also. It is an actionable thing; illegal actions are actionable. Nobody is above the law,’’ he said.
The minister explained that April 18, was earlier fixed for the inauguration, but that the union invaded the place with the same thugs and disrupted the function.
According to him, the event was postponed and a new date was going to be fixed. He, however, lamented that the NLC had been maligning his character and integrity because he was the Labour Minister.
“They forget that by International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention, I am what the ILO calls the competent authority.
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“The president will not come to do labour matters; the vice president will not come to do labour matters; neither will the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) come to do labour matters until I pass the matters to them.
“But it is an obtuse scene that we have here; the labour people led by Wabba, under the NLC leadership, feels that they are secondary arm of government," he said adding that the latter equates himself with the president of Nigeria.
Legit.ng reported earlier that the NLC asked workers in the country’s airports and those in the 163 countries that are members of the International Trade Union (ITU) confederation to help the body ridicule Chris Ngige, the labour minister.
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