Labor wins big as FG backpedals, says May Day will still hold at Eagle Square

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In a swift reaction after the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC vows to hold this year’s May Day celebrations on Abuja streets, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige has assured that the Workers Day celebration will hold at the eagle square in Abuja on May 1.

The ministry reacted with the following statement:

“The attention of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has been drawn to press releases and statements in the media that the Federal Government disapproved of the NLC using the Eagle Square for the annual May Day parade, for reasons bordering on the preparation of the venue for the May 29 inauguration of President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“On receiving the report, the Minister contacted his colleague, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Bello, who blamed the development on some overzealous officials, acting without his authority, as well as minor communication gap between the FCDA, the Federal Government Transition Committee and the NLC.

“It was actually the contractor handling the renovation of the Eagle Square, Merrs Julius Berger that informed the Transition Committee for the hand over ceremony that they erected their equipment even before last Thursday when the Nigerian Army used the venue for an event attended by the President.

“Consequently, the FCT Minister assured the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment that the place is available for NLC to use on May 1, which is the workers day”.

According to the minister, “This May Day is the last in the life of this administration. The NLC parade belongs to everybody, including government, diplomatic missions, international organisations, organised labour and affiliate unions and members of the public. The President, Ministers and others cannot shut themselves out. The Eagle Square is still available for all these individuals.

“All invited people should make themselves available for the parade at Eagle Square, most especially the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the diplomatic missions and the international partners.

“The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment has been in touch with the leadership of organised Labour led by Comrade Joe Ajaero and has briefed them on these developments and equally extended the apologies of the Honourable Minister of FCT for the unintended embarrassment occasioned by the action of their officials who misinterpreted the general intention and work plan of one month of Messrs Julius Berger the company in charge of the renovation of the Eagle Square for the May 29 inauguration to also include the May 1, 2023.

“The FCT Administration has promised to give all necessary material support to make the event hitch free and successful, while the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment wishes all Nigerian Workers a blissful Workers day on May 1”, he added.

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