The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government to intervene over the delay in the inauguration of the board of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
Mr Ayuba Wabba, the NLC President, made the appeal while addressing newsmen after a protest on the delay in inaugurating the board on Wednesday in Abuja.
It would be recalled that the inauguration of the board was postponed two weeks ago with labour unions decrying the removal of Chief Frank Kokori as the Chairman of the board.
NLC had given the Minister of Labour and Productivity an ultimatum to inaugurate the board with Kokori as the chairman.
That ultimatum expired on May 1.
The NLC had in the early hours of Wednesday blocked the entrance to the Asokoro private resident of the minister with two fuel tanks.
During the protest, a group of thugs attacked workers with sticks and stones, and chased away the protesting workers from the minister’s residence.
The NLC president described the attack on workers as barbaric.
“The act today is barbaric, where maximum force had been used upon workers and live bullets used on them.
“Whereas workers went with bare hands, the thugs were carrying weapons and arms. And as I talk to you, we have four people in the hospital apart from those that were injured by bullets,” according to him.
Wabba vowed that NLC was going to invite more workers to continue the protest, saying “we are going to invite our largest organ by tomorrow”.
“We are also going to decide a larger scale of action. He has no reason to be called 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 and under the circumstance, except Mr President Muhammadu Buhari intervenes; workers are going certainly down tools. That is why we are calling our central working committee.
“Therefore, Mr President must act on this immediately. Workers voted and supported him. Ngige cannot in any circumstance assume the power of the president. That cannot be the case,” Wabba added.
On his part, Mr William Apkoreha, the President, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), said that two of his members were missing following the attacks by thugs at the minister’s residence.
“We are embarking on peaceful protest as two of my members are missing and I cannot fold my arms. We will maintain sanity until 12 midnight.
“If we did not hear from them, then every oil and gas workers in the country will enter the street to look for their members,’’ he threatened. (NAN)