NLC’s siege on Ngige’s residence barbaric, lawless – NSITF
A pro-All Progressives Congress group, Coalition of Delta APC Support, says Wednesday’s siege at the private residence of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, by some officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress into pressurising the minister to inaugurate Chief Frank Kokori as chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund was a lawless action.
The group also described the NLC action as barbaric, saying that the exercise violated Ngige and his family’s rights to private life.
In a statement on Friday signed by the convener of the group, Mr. Daniel Ekuigbo, noted that the decision by NLC to picket the residence of the minister was a treat to public peace and order.
Ekuiigbo stated that violence which was allegedly recorded during the protest could have been avoided if the labour union had allowed Ngige to inaugurate members of the board appointed and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group queried why the NLC was turning a chairmanship appointment of one individual into a national emergency because the appointment of their preferred person does not have the approval of Mr. President.
It contended that it is even more perplexing that the NLC is determined to break the law and even spill the blood of Nigerians to achieve a clearly illegal and crooked purpose. Labour organisations, he opined, were not expected to act lawlessly, no matter the perceived provocations.
He said, “The picketing of the Labour Minister’s private residence was not only unlawful and against the Trade Dispute Act of Nigeria and gross violation of the fundamental right of Dr Ngige to his private life, but also criminal and an embarrassment to organise labour organisation.
“Assuming without conceding that Ngige acted outside Presidential approval to refuse the inauguration of Kokori as chairman of the board of the NSITF, does such act constitute a trade dispute which permits the NLC to picket offices or businesses where the dispute arises?
“What exactly is NLC’s interest in this matter? The same Kokori has been given another appointment by Mr President as Chairman of the Michael Imoudu Labour Training Institute, Ilorin, so why is NLC insisting Kokori must be Chairman of NSITF?”
Ekuigbo said NLC was acting in a manner purportedly to compel Ngige to disobey the approval of the President and inaugurate Chief Frank Kokori as the chairman of the NSITF in place of Mr Austin Enajemo-Isire that is duly appointed by President Buhari.
“For the NLC to take its protest to the private residence of a government official for matters that are wholly and strictly official, is totally condemnable and should be denounced by all Nigerians because such act is not only lawless but violates the private life of Ngige and indeed any official of the government and private sector.
“To take petrol tankers loaded with fuel and block the entrance of the Minister’s house is not only an illegal and dangerous act of intimidation but a reckless threat to life and properties of not only Dr Ngige and family but Dr Ngige’s neighbors and their families.
“Finally, we call on all Nigerians to rise up and condemn this barbaric act by the NLC. Nigerians should direct the NLC to prioritize the interest of Nigerians ahead of an individual who believes he is entitled to be appointed to a particular position by the President of Nigeria”, it added.