May Day: Workers Chase Out Labour Minister, Ngige, Dignitaries from Podium as Rally Ends in Chaos

The national Workers Day celebration in Abuja, was Monday disrupted by workers who have barred government officials represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige from delivering President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech.
Even attempts by the former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, did not save the situation as he was also stopped by workers chanting “we no go gree.”
Workers started throwing water cans to the officials when Police made attempts to drive them out of the podium.
Meanwhile, Police later drove in armoured cars to disperse the rampaging workers, forcing the rally to end in chaos without the traditional match pass by labour unions.
More security had to be drafted into the arena to protect dignitaries invited for the celebration, forming a barricade to prevent the protesters from getting to the invited guest.
Trouble started when the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Biola Bawa was called to read the address of the Minister, Senator Chris Ngige, who represented the President.
Ngige had refused to address the workers in his capacity as the Minister and sent the permanent secretary because he (Ngige) represented President Muhhammadu Buhari at the occasion.
But the workers chorused “no, no, no’’ to the move and thereafter continue to chant, “minimum wage, minimum wage.’’
Even when the Minister later stepped forward to address the workers, they refused to allow him speak and all efforts to make them return to their seat failed, forcing the Minister to return to his seat angrily.
Some of the workers insisted that if the President could not attend the rally to address them; he would have sent the Vice President instead of the Minister.
The shout of go back to your seat by the leadership of both the NLC and TUC was greater with a loud no by the workers.
The Police had to use tear gas to disperse the crowd before it degenerated into a full blown riot.

Author: News Editor

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