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Confusion, Protest Against N18k Minimum Wage Mar Abuja May Day Rally

Photo caption: (L-R) Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige 

*As Workers Embarrass Sarak, Dogara, Ngige 

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The celebration of this year Workers’ day Monday in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja was trailed with confusion and stalemate between the workers, the Labour union Leadership, top Government officials and security personnel.

In what appeared to be a pre-planned display, the workers from the take-off of the rally, began the protest against the present minimum wage of N18,000 and demanded for its upward review.

They chanted anti-present minimum pay songs.

They expressed their grievances, contending that the present minimum salary was grossly inadequate, especially in view of the raging economic recession as well as decline in the Naira value, which have increased the cost of living in different parts of the country.

The workers who complained that they were being deceived severally by the successive Governments were further enraged due to the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

 Again, tension mounted when the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Employment and Labour Mrs. Abiola Bawa came forward to read her Minister, Dr. Chris Ngigie’s address, despite his presence at the rally. She was rebuffed.

However, when the Minister mounted the podium to present President Buhari’s address, the protesting workers insisted that he must read his address by himself, and not by any representative, since he was at the rally.

As the confusion and stalemate ensued, the immediate past Edo State Governor and former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) National President Comrade Adams Oshiomhole came out to address the angry workers and pacify them, but to no avail.

Similar efforts by the incumbent NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) Presidents, Comrade Ayuba Waba and Bala Kaigama respectively yielded no result.

The situation made the workers and security personnel clashed, a situation that made the scene to be further charged.

The rally was attended by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara.

 

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