Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in Benue State, Comrade Godwin Anya, was noticeably absent at the NLC protest march, in Makurdi, on Tuesday, following attack on him and me, bears of his family by unknown gunmen.
In a telephone chat with newsmen shortly after the march, Comrade Anya said he could not lead the protest because of the robbery attack in which his wife was shot.
Explaining how the attack happened, Anya disclosed to newsmen that he had travelled to his village in Ushongo to celebrate the Christmas and New year festivities when on New Year day, while they were praying in his compound into the New Year, some gunmen numbering between three and five invaded his home.
Said he, “At about 12 midnight, the entire family gathered in my compound in prayer to usher in the new year when the armed gun men stormed the premises, quickly switched off the light from the main control and started shooting sporadically.
“My wife who was beside me was hit by the bullet and she fell down while the gunmen ordered me to follow them into the house.
“They led me to the bedroom and collected over N750,000 meant for my children school fees and all our handsets.
“I have reported the incident to the Ushongo Divisional Police office and my wife is recuperating,” Anya said.
Anya who was represented at the protest march by the State Chairman Joint Negotiation Council 1,2 and 3, Comrade Ojotu Ojemu appealed to the governor to ensure that the gunmen are apprehended and brought to book.
He also stressed the need for security personnel to be attached to labor leaders to protect their lives noting that the new minimum wage of 30,000 is lawful and long overdue.
On his part, National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba who was represented at the protest March by Dr. Success Leke, National Auditor of the Union appealed to Governor Samuel Ortom to prevail on his colleagues to implement the new minimum wage.
Responding, Governor Ortom who identified with the workers over their plight said if he has the capacity, he will not hesitate to implement the new minimum wage.
“I wish to call on the Federal government to review the revenue sharing formula. For my administration, I am committed to prioritising payment of workers salaries and this is exactly what we are doing’, Ortom said.