By Paul Obi in Abuja
The National Union of Hotels and Personnel Services Workers (NUHPSW)Â TuesdayÂ barricaded the popular Agura Hotel in Abuja, protesting against its management over arbitrariness and illegal disengagement of staff.
The workers carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘Agura Hotel Pay Us Our Entitlemen’ and ‘Agura Hotel Follow Condition of Service’, among others.
Speaking to THISDAY, NUHPSW Chief Officer, Inumotole Babatunde, explained that trouble started when “at the point of resuming their duty, the workers were asked to sign their termination letters, without any prior notice”.
“The workers then acted spontaneously, barricading the hotel and protesting against the decision. The management knows the necessary steps to take, but they didn’t take such steps,” Babatunde stated.
According to him, “If you are going to terminate workers’ appointment, we have to sit down and talk about the process, you don’t sack workers like that.”
Babatunde further stated that the intervention of officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) calmed the situation, as the DSS mandated both parties to dialogue.
All efforts to speak with the management of the hotel were fruitless. When THISDAY contacted the General Manager of the hotel, Mr. Michael Ajayi, he did not respond to the questions put across to him, stating that he was in an important meeting.
Controversy has continued to trail Agura Hotel following several law suits against the management of the hotel, a situation that has led to the takeover of the hotel by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The hotel jointly owned by Daniel Kanu’s family was one of the first prestigious tourist centres and hotels in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after the Nigerian capital moved from Lagos to Abuja.