Absence Of Both Buhari, Osinbajo At May Day Rally Cause Disruption By Workers

 By Ike A. Offor

Image result for may day rally in abuja

Workers chanting right in front of Adam Oshiohmole

The national Workers Day celebration in Abuja was disrupted for about an hour by workers who have barred government officials represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige from delivering government speeches.

The pandemonium at eagles square occurred as a speech by the permanent secretary, ministry of labour and employment who is reportedly representing the minister that is seated right in front of her in the gathering.

The workers insisted the minister must speak for himself. It was claimed that the minister was representing the President and so, should speak in that capacity.

The workers asked where is the vice president to address them?  Both President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice Prof. Yemi Osinbajo were missing from the very important rally to promote workers Day and the relationship between labour and the government. 
 The situation was highly embarrassing for all the government representatives and ministers who attended the rally.
The Senate president, Sen. Bukola Saraki and speaker house of reps, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara seem to have enjoyed the drama as they sat calmly in their seats watching with great enthusiasm.
Oshiomole, on his own volition, drew the anger of the crowd when he grabbed the microphone and took the centre stage in clear effort to calm down the workers. Then, the workers started chanting what sounded like a clear sports hooligan’s tone only found in premier league with the wordings so loud and clear enough to deliver a clear message to him. He was visibly regretting why he intervened or attended the historic event.
The Former governor, Adam Oshiomhole, himself was a labour leader before venturing into politics. He perhaps thought that his presence would calm things down, but it didn’t.
The worker shouted about minimum wage and the economic hardship with the prices of domestic foodstuff skyrocketing while the value of Naira falls and the minimum wage remained the same.

Even attempts by the former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole did not save the situation as he was also stopped by workers chanting “we no go gree.” Some shouted Ole, Olee -meaning thief in the Yoruba language.
Activities at the Eagle Square was suspended for over one hour, while workers were leaving the venue in droves. Workers started throwing water cans to the officials when Police made attempts to drive them out of the podium.

However, Wabba read an address in which he urged the Federal Government to immediately constitute the tripartite committee for the negotiation of a new minimum wage for the Nigerian workers.

The NLC president added, “Workers also expected that either the President or the Vice-President should have been here because, as you can see, it was at the point when his speech was to be read that trouble started.

“It also points to the fact that workers are actually going through serious challenges. Many of them have not even earned their salaries for this month. Nigerian workers have been pushed to the wall.”

Wabba, who recalled that Organised Labour had sent a proposal to the Federal Government to increase the minimum wage from N18,000 to N56,000 in May last year, described the struggle for a new minimum wage as the most effective action against corruption in the civil service.
The Police force brought armoured cars to disperse the rampaging workers.

Leave a Reply