Shehu Sani, the Senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the rift between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.
Sani, in a tweet on Friday, urged President Buhari to intervene if he is aware of the rift.
Sani wrote: “The President should intervene and address the unnecessary rift between NLC and Minister Chris Ngige IF HE IS AWARE.”
We recalls that Ngige had asked workers to disregard the call by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for a one- day national protest on Monday.
Ngige made the call in a statement issued by Mr Nwachukwu Obidewe, his Special Assistant on Media, in Abuja on Friday, saying the directive by the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Waba, that workers should protest on Monday, May 13, 2019, was unlawful.
“The calling out of workers on a flimsy and selfish excuse of non-inauguration of the board of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) with Comrade Frank Kokori as the Chairman did not constitute a trade dispute as contained in the Labour Act.
“The issue in question is political. It is about the exclusive right of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to make an appointment.
“This is clearly outside the purview of the Trade Union and Trade Disputes Act, hence imperative for workers to go about their normal businesses.
“It is important to state here that every worker is supposed to put in eight hours of work per day for five days in a week in line with the ILO Convention.
“Therefore, using the office hours for such protest without the approval of the employers is unlawful, ‘’the minister said.
Also, recalls that the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, of desperately attempting to appropriate to himself perpetually the National Social Insurance Trust Fund.
NUPENG was reacting to Ngige’s explanation and defense on the recent protest of workers that turned bloody at the residence of the Minister during the week.
Ngige, who the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and NUPENG are accusing of attempting to secretly inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund, had described the protest at his Asokoro residence as hooliganism.
NUPENG, in a statement to DAILY POST on Friday, signed by its National President, Comrade Williams Akporeha, claimed that the Abuja protesters were non-violent, but only sought after the primary aim of putting pressure on the Minister within their rules of engagement to inaugurate Chief Kokori as the NSITF Chairman.
The statement added, “We want to draw the attention of the whole world to the lies and despicable antics Minister of Labour and Employment in desperate attempt to appropriate to himself perpetually the National Social Insurance Trust Fund.”
“Having listened to his explanation and defense on the recent peaceful protest of the workers (But turned bloody at the instance of Mr Chris Ngige), against his attempt to secretly inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) in his sitting room after organized labour had frustrated previous attempts, we thought it wise to not only unmasked Mr. Chris Ngige for what he is and has ever been but to also once again place the records of Chief Frank Ovie Kokori on the world screen to see and compare with the unknown and murky records of his traducer.”