Benue workers, under aegis of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and no fewer than 50 civil society organisations (CSOs), yesterday used the May Day celebration for mourning and sober reflections over herdsmen killings in the state.
They lamented the worsening insecurity that had bedeviled the state since January this year as they converged on the IBB Square, in Makurdi, to mark the 2018 event.The usual fanfare that goes with the annual event was absent as workers simply took their seats for a low key celebration without parades by the union and affiliate bodies.
The CSOs protested against the mindless killings by herdsmen, while Christian leaders prayed and made supplications for God’s intervention.They carried placards with various inscriptions like: FG Stop Killing Our People; The Killings Are Unacceptable; Guma LGA Has Been Deserted; and FG Has Brought Hunger To Us, among others.
Chairman Central Planning Committee for this year’s May Day celebration, Comrade Emmanuel Yiyongo, in his welcome address announced that NLC decided to suspend the traditional parades, display by art council and cutting of cake due to the prevailing circumstances in the state.
However, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, commended the Benue workers and CSOs for their steadfastness in the service to the state despite the challenges.He stressed that the hardship of the workers was compounded by the prevailing economic situation at all levels of government.In a related development, the NLC in Kaduna State has accused the state government of disregarding the rule of law as it flouted court orders at will.
State NLC Chairman, Comrade Ango Adamu said during the May Day celebration that the violation of an Industrial Court Order when Governor Nasir El-Rufai voided the injunction against the sack of workers in the state was an affront on the rule of law.
Urging workers to vote out bad leadership in the country in 2019, Ango noted that Nigeria was not as poorly governed even under the military as it was being experienced under the present administration.
However, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, commended the NLC, pointing out that his administration was committed to investing in human capital.Also, workers in Plateau State booed NLC Chairma, Comrade Jibrin Bancir for allegedly betraying them, even as Governor Solomon Lalong promised better days ahead for the state’s workforce.
Meanwhile, the NLC in Nasarawa State has expressed disappointment over Governor Tanko Al-Makura’s pension administration.Its Chairman, Abdullahi Adeka, said this yesterday during the workers’ day celebration0 in Lafia, the state capital, lamenting how retirees wait endlessly before their pension issues are processed.
Adeka however called on the state government to among other things pay 100 per cent monthly pension to all pensioners, sustain the monthly payment of gratuities to pensioners as promised.However, Governor Al-Makura said in his determination to assist the state pensioners, government released N300 million last year for the payment of gratuity to retirees with emphasis on the sick, widows, widowers, the physically challenged, the aged and other disadvantaged members in the society.