Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige , has distance himself from reports circulating in the media that he hired thugs to attack the peaceful protest of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG).
In a statement issued on Wednesday by his Special Assistant Media, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, the former Anambra State governor, stated that the allegation of the NLC leaders wasn’t true and an attempt to tarnish his image.
Recall that the NLC chairman, Ayuba Wabba, accused Ngige of failing to commission the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) with Frank Kokori as the Chairman, a situation which necessitated the mass protest.
The statement reads: “The private residence of the Hon. Minister of labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige was early this morning (4 a.m.) invaded by the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and his members.
“These members among whom are tanker drivers, some with ferocious looks, also barricaded the gate to the residence of the Hon. Minister with two long trucks. They chanted war songs and prevented the Hon. Minister, his wife, children and other aides from either leaving or gaining access to the compound.
“Comrade Wabba later left and returned with re-enforcement .
“The presence of these strange faces and mounting war songs sent heavy panic on the family members, especially children and female aides who thought the sudden early morning assemblage were of the underworld.
“Some of these unknown faces and the two tanker lorries blocking the entrance to the house are still there as I send this press statement .
“I therefore wish to state that contrary to reports being mischievously circulated in the media by the NLC President, the Hon. Minister, family members who are still in great trauma and his staff members did not invited thugs, have no knowledge of it, or have a hand in the alleged manhandling of any worker.”