NSITF crisis: Group condemns NLC for allegedly invading Ngige’s home
A group, the Coalition of Delta APC Support Groups, has condemned the barricading of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige’s residence by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
It also called on Nigerians to speak against the act.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Warri, the group, through its convener, Prince Daniel Ekuigbo, described the move as not only a violation of the minister’s right to private living, but also a threat to other humans.
Recall that the NLC had organised a protest to the residence of the minister, demanding that Chief Frank Kokori be reinstated as chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), a position that has been already assigned to Mr Austin Enajemo-Isire, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Wondering why the NLC is making an issue out of the chairmanship appointment because their preferred candidate is a former labour leader, the convener noted that the organised labour may have committed a criminal offense.
Adding that the NLC ought to “prioritize” the interests of Nigerians over one person, the statement stressed that taking such protest to an unofficial residence is reckless and puts the life of the entire neighborhood at risk.
Ekuigbo expressed shock that the NLC is determined to break the law and even spill the blood of Nigerians to achieve a clearly illegal purpose.
“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 organize labour organization.
“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 permit 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?
“The NLC must know that there are federal laws that established and regulate trade unions and trade disputes which must be obeyed by all parties, employers and employees including trade unions.
“NLC can only act within such laws and must restrict its protest or picketing to the official offices and in this case, perhaps offices of the Minister of Labour, the office of Mr President or other Federal Government office connected to the NSITF in its determination to compel either Dr Ngige to disobey Mr President or Mr President to change his approval from Mr Isire to Chief Kokori whichever is applicable.
“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 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”.