Ngige denies inviting thugs to manhandle protesting workers

Chris Ngige

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has denied inviting thugs to manhandle protesting workers who blocked the entrance to his residence in Abuja on Wednesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, Ngige denied the claim by labour leaders who alleged that the minister hired thugs to manhandle them.

The labour leaders under the auspices of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) were protesting Ngige’s refusal to inaugurate the Frank Kokori-led board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

After security operatives hauled stones at them, a group of men suspected to be thugs attacked the protesting workers with sticks and stones and chased them away from the premises.

“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,” Ngige’s spokesman, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, said in the statement.

“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 that the minister and is family who are in trauma did not invite thugs.

“He has no knowledge of it, or has a hand in the alleged manhandling of any worker.”