Labour Crisis: Al-Makura Denies Agreement to Compensate Families of Slain Workers

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Adams Abonu in Lafia

In what appears to be a further twist in the sour relationship between the organised labour in Nasarawa State and the state government, Governor Tanko Al-Makura has denied that he accepted to pay compensation to the families of two workers who were felled by bullets of a police man attached to the Government Hose in Lafia during a supposed parley.

Several print and electronic media reported that the state government had agreed to pay compensation to the families of those who lost their lives and several others who sustained various degrees of injuries upon intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in accordance with the Employees Compensation Act.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had hinted on President Muhamudu Buhari’s displeasure to the “unfortunate” incident in Nasarawa State on July 29 2015 which had led to the death of the two aggrieved workers.
But in a statement released by Ahmed Tukur, the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Governor Al-Makura, the state government denied the reports, insisting that accepting to pay compensation to the families of the affected workers would amount to taking responsibility for their demise.

“This publication is misleading and totally false and a calculated attempt to create the impression that the state government has owned up to the unfortunate death of the two persons.

“The report is mischievously calculated to jeopardise or pre-empt the ongoing investigation by the police and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) especially as both parties have returned to the negotiating table facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Labour.

“For the avoidance of doubts, the position of the Nasarawa State Government is to await the outcome of the investigation by the NHRC and the police while adhering to the interim order by NHRC for all arties to the case to maintain the status quo.

“The public is therefore urged to disregard the report by the media which is intended to mislead the public that the state government was alleged to have accepted responsibility for the payment of the compensation for the lives of the workers who lost their lives as a result of the protest staged by the workers on July 29, 2016,” the statement read in parts.

There has been palpable tension in the state since the July incident described by a cross-section on the state as a “debacle.”