Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has lamented that his family is traumatised due to the picketing of his residence by members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The Minister disclosed this in an interview with journalists at the presidential villa in Abuja, on Thursday.
According to Ngige, the ‘blockage’ of the entrance of his Asokoro residence by the protesting labour members is an unlawful action because all occupants of his compound including his neighbours were hindered from going about their daily normal activities.
“In my own home, my wife, some of my children, the children of my staff members, my cooks and my stewards were all trapped. My neighbour also couldn’t go to work. That is obstruction. It is against the law of the land.
“Putting a tanker with petrol… that is arson. The entire street could have been engulfed with fire.
“I was speechless. I am very distraught, my family is traumatised. All of the people in my compound are traumatised. Some of the cooks and policemen who have families, aides who have families in that compound are traumatised.
“Even my neighbour couldn’t go about their business. It is quite unfortunate,” he lamented.
Narrating the incident, Ngige claimed that the protesters were at the entrance of his house as early as 4:30 am with petrol tankers.
He said further that the protesters were led by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba.
“I was woken up at 5:00 am by my wife who reported to me that my security men were having problems with some strange fellows at the gate of the house and that some people were also on the walls of my house and that the people arrived there by 4:30 am.
“When the security accosted them, they discovered that it was the NLC President himself that came physically.
“They came with two tankers. One laden with petrol and the other one was half empty. They put one at the gate of my house and the second one at the gate of the other house which happens to be that of my neighbour.
“It was very strange. I looked from upstairs and saw that the tankers were actually blocking the entrance to my house.
“They (his security men) even had a scuffle with the President of NLC when they were struggling for the key of the tanker.”
Ngige, however, condemned the action of the protesters, saying, “Picketing does not mean you go to people’s private residence because you don’t know who the occupants are.
“That is not Trade Unionism, it is hooligalism. In Trade Unionism, you dialogue.”
The Minister said his neighbours have vowed to take legal actions and added that ‘the obstruction’ is an illegal action punishable by the law.
Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday protested at the Asokoro residence of Ngige over his failure to inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund with Frank Kokori as the chairman.