NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar
The Nigeria Labour Congress has warned that negotiations with the federal government over issues in the power sector, risks falling apart over inflammatory statements credited to the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji.
The Acting President of the NLC, Comrade Promise Adewusi, briefing newsmen in Abuja yesterday added that it is irresponsible for the minister to incite the public against workers who are demanding for their entitlements.
He expressed surprise at the utterances of the minister after the meeting with labour ministry officials on Wednesday August 15, 2012, which he said are capable of destroying the gains of the meeting.
Adewusi called on the federal government to call Nnaji to order and create an enabling environment for meaningful dialogue by also withdrawing soldiers from PHCN facilities and setting up a high-powered committee to address the concerns of the workers.
"If you are in negotiations, all parties must cease propaganda. At various times, he has described workers as terrorists, mischievous and with other names. He has declared war on Nigeria workers and we are ready to pick up the gauntlet," he warned.
" Nnaji at one time accused workers of lying about the existence of any pension contributions. Later, he said the workers mismanaged N80 billion pension money. If this is true, why not invite the EFCC," Adewusi added.
The NLC also questioned the capacity of the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu to drive the process that would require curtailing the excesses of the Minister of Power for the resolution of the issues in contention.
Congress also alleged that the electricity workers were being forced at gunpoint to sign off their entitlements.