THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that it members were ready to be killed by hired thugs of Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige insisting it would not rest on its agitation until the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) is inaugurated with Frank Kokori as its chairman.
This was the stand of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of NLC at the end of its emergency meeting in Abuja on Thursday after leaders were attacked by suspected thugs at the residence of Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Wednesday.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting which was made available to The ICIR said failure by the Minister to inaugurate the board with the appropriate person as its chairman would invite more protests.
While challenging the Federal Government to come out clean about what unresolved issues around the Trust Fund, the Congress demanded for the arrest and prosecution of the thugs and their sponsors since they are well known
On its planned protest on Monday, May 13, in Abuja against the brutalization of its members by the thugs believed to be loyal to the Minister, the labour union said it has directed its members and civil society allies to commence immediate mobilization.
The Congress said its members were “ready to be killed by the thugs hired by Dr. Ngige or security agents who maintained a complicitous silence while defenseless workers were being mowed down.”
It also demanded an unconditional and unqualified apology from the government both for the primitive behavior of its Minister and its suspicious silence.
The Congress pointed out that while the Vice President, Yemi Osibajo found it necessary to step out of his car to address indigenous communities which were protesting against the forceful acquisition of their land by the military, the Minister resorted to recruiting thugs to engage workers.
“The CWC resolved to hold Dr. Chris Ngige personally responsible for the violence visited on the workers and injuries that they suffered, noting that he has sown a seed of violence,” NLC said in the communique.
“The CWC also resolved to send his name to all airports, train stations, shipping ports and all public entry and exit point around the world in other to have visited upon him protest and disgrace for his ignominious role in the violence unleashed against workers.”
The NLC in February decided to picket the Minister of Labour and Employment house if he failed to inaugurate the NSITF board on or before May 1, 2019.