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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Workers’ Protest: Worst humiliation awaits you in Ogun, Amosun tells NLC President, Wabba

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Barely 20 days after President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and other APC chieftains were pelted with stones in Ogun, Gov. Ibikunle Amosun has threatened Nigeria Labour Congress President Ayuba Wabba to stay away from his planned protest in the state or get the worst humiliation of his life.

Amosun had in a vituperation on a live radio programme on Thursday, warned Wabba to steer clear of the state as the Congress had planned a protest against the state government for its anti-labour policies and unsettled deductions from workers’ salaries running into 104 months.

Buhari was in Abeokuta, Ogun capital on February 11 for a pre-election campaign when he and others on the VIP seat were pelted with stones at MKO Abiola stadium.

The riotous situation began when APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole introduced the party’s governorship candidate, Dapo Abiodun, amid shouts of “Ole, ole, ole.’’

The governor had featured on Faaji FM, a stable of Daar Communications Ltd, owners of Ray Power FM and Africa Independent Television (AIT) which was broadcast on the network of Ogun Radio, Paramount FM, Rock City FM, and Sweet FM, all in Abeokuta from 8.30 am to 10 am.

Amosun and his anointed governorship candidate, Abdulkadir Akinlade of Allied Peoples Movement (APM)  fielded questions on the programme.

NLC President had planned to lead a workers’ protest tagged “Occupy Ogun State’’, on Friday, March 1 which has been shifted to Tuesday, March 5.

Their demands include 104 months of unremitted cooperative societies and bank deductions from workers’ salaries, unpaid leave bonus for four years, reinstatement of sacked labour leaders in the state by Amosun, stoppage of promotion of workers particularly teachers for three years among others.

Amosun said in Yoruba: “Tell him (Wabba) to stay away from Ogun state; he is coming to play politics and he is being used by the opposition otherwise he will get the worst treatment or humiliation of his life.

“Workers are being paid promptly and they are happy with the government. I met a monthly wage bill of N3.1 billion in the state but today we pay between N8 or 9 billion as salaries of workers including political appointees.

“What is NLC President’s business in Ogun? I promise him the worst humiliation if he comes.’’

But the NLC leadership reacted, describing Amosun’s rantings as empty threat.

“Labour wishes to state that the empty threats and denial of evident diversion of bail-out funds by the Federal Government and the Paris Club refunds (about 4 tranches) which was meant for the payment of backlog of unpaid deductions including cooperative societies, Ileya and Christmas savings running into billions of Naira.

“The sudden vituperations of Senator Amosun betrayed his inability to handle industrial labour relations maturedly in line with global practices,’’ the Congress said in a statement.

It will be recalled that Amosun, in a fit of anger, sacked state chairman and other officials of NLC for allowing “opposition’’ to address their May Day rally and for allegedly collecting money from them.

Amosun has been in a do-or-die battle campaigning for his APM governorship candidate, Akinlade, across the state as an APC Senator-elect following post party primary crisis in November 2018.

His supporters left APC and joined APM.

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