Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige said his household mistaken protesting members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) who on Wednesday picketed his Asokoro in Abuja residence for armed robbers.
Ngige hinted this while denying claims by the workers that he masterminded the attack on them at his residence in which some of the protesters sustained injuries and hospitalised.
The minister and NLC are embroiled in bitter feud over his refusal to inaugurate the board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund with Frank Kokori as chairman.
In protest, some workers led by their President, Ayuba Wabara attempted to picket his residence but were foiled by hoodlums allegedly acting Ngige’s script, who pounced on them.
Denying complicit in the attack through a statement released by his media aide, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, the minister said his family were traumatised by the workers’ invasion, adding that the perception was that the protesters were “men of the underworld.”
The statement read in part: “The private residence of the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige was early this morning (4 a.m.) invaded by the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba and his members.
“These members among whom are tanker drivers, some with ferocious looks, also barricaded the gate to the residence of the Hon. Minister with two long trucks. They chanted war songs and prevented the Hon. Minister, his wife, children and other aides from either leaving or gaining access to the compound.
“Comrade Wabba later left and returned with re-enforcement. The presence of these strange faces and mounting war songs sent heavy panic on the family members, especially children and female aides, who thought the sudden early morning assemblage were of the underworld.
“Some of these unknown faces and the two tanker lorries blocking the entrance to the house are still there as I send this press statement .
“I, therefore, wish to state that contrary to reports being mischievously circulated in the media by the NLC President, the Hon. Minister, family members who are still in great trauma and his staff members did not invited thugs, have no knowledge of it, or have a hand in the alleged manhandling of any worker.”