Wednesday, 2 May 2018

1st May: Workers Boo NLC Chairman, Exchange Blows in Plateau State

By: Valentine Adese,
Worker’s Day celebration in Plateau state went ugly, as the event that started peacefully with harmony and warm welcome among affiliate members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) turned into a scene loaded with exchange of insults and physical blows.    


The celebration was almost disrupted by the exchange of blows between loyalists of the Plateau State Chairman of the NLC, Jibrin Banchir, and his opponents.

After the closing ceremony, REALITY gathered that Banchir was escorted out of the Rwang Pam Stadium, venue of the event by armed operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Before trouble started for the NLC Chairman, members of the Plateau State Council of the Nigeria Union of Teachers and National Union of Local Government Employees, had during their march parade, raised three fingers each, which was an indication of their three months salaries arrears owed by the state government. 

However, hell was broke loose, as Chairman Banchir mounted the podium to deliver his speech to his fellow comrades.

Banchir, rather than receive the usual warm welcome to present his speech, he was booed by Plateau workers, who refused to allow him read his prepared address.

REALITY Reporter, who covered the event, observed that all attempt by Comrade Banchir to address the mammoth crowd was frustrated by the workers. His voice was consumed by shouts of ‘No, No, No’, amidst intermittent disruptions from aggrieved workers at the venue.

REALITY can authoritatively report that the protests took a dramatic turn when some workers loyal to the NLC Chairman and those opposed to him threw punches at each other.

Although reasons for the embarrassment of Comrade Banchir were still sketchy, our reporter learnt that it would not be unconnected with the 2019 political developments in the state.  

You would recall that Comrade Banchir started well as Plateau state NLC Chairman and was able to pull the workers against the immediate past administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Sen. Jonah Jang, then as Governor in the state, pulling several strike actions to achieve the state workers’ demands. 

REALITY investigation however indicates that, Banchir seems to have lost his grip on the loyalty of the state workers, owing to allegations making the rounds in the state that he has become too close to the present state administration led by Governor Simon Bako Lalong, who is from the same Southern Senatorial District with him.

Attempts to get the reaction of Banchir, on this allegation failed, as he is not picking his calls and at a point, his phone was switched off.

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