Security officers haul stones at labour leaders outside Ngige’s residence

Security officers throw stones at protesters at Ngige's house

Security officers attached to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, on Wednesday hauled stones at protesting labour leaders.

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).

As early as 6.00am, the labour leaders, without NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, blocked Ngige’s gate with two tankers, chanting solidarity songs.

Ngige resides in Asokoro area of Abuja opposite Katsina Governor’s lodge.

After the officers hauled stones at them, the labour leaders were chased by a group of boys suspected to be hired thugs.

On arrival at the scene, Mr Wabba described the incident as barbaric.

“The act today is barbaric; where maximum force has been used on workers. And live bullets have been used on them. Whereas workers went with bare hands but you have seen what has happened,” he said.

Wabba also threatened strike action. “We are also going on a larger scale of action. Instead of protecting us, he is against us. Therefore we have nothing to do with him and under the circumstance, except the president intervenes, workers are going to down tool.”

Labour leaders say they have scheduled a meeting for their Central Working Committee on Thursday to deliberate on the next step.