By Peter Duru
Makurdi – Benue State chairman of the Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC Comrade Godwin Anya was absent at Tuesday’s protest march in Makurdi organised by labour to press home demand for a new minimum wage, following an attack on his family by unknown gunmen.
Comrade Anya told reporters on phone in Makurdi that he could not lead the protest because of the robbery attack which left his wife with gunshot injury.
The NLC chairman explained that he travelled to his village in Ushongo to celebrate the Christmas and New year festivities when they were attacked by the armed men.
He said, “at about 12midnight my entire family gathered in my house in prayer to usher in the new year when more than five gunmen stormed into my house, switched off the light from the main control and shot sporadically and the bullet hit my wife.
“They led me to the bedroom and collected over N750,000 meant for my children’s school fees and all our handsets. I have reported the incident to the Ushongo Divisional Police Officer in Lessel,” Anya said.
Meanwhile at the rally, National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba represented by Comrade Success Leke, the National Auditor of NLC, advised Governor Samuel Ortom to prevail on his colleagues to implement the new minimum wage.
On his part Comrade Anya who was represented by the State Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council 1, 2 and 3 Comrade Ojotu Ojeme appealed to the Police to ensure the arrest of those who attacked the NLC state chairman and his family.
He also noted that “the new minimum wage of N30,000 is lawful and long overdue for workers.”
Responding, Governor Samuel Ortom who sympathized with workers over their plight said if given the capacity, he would not hesitate to implement the new minimum wage.
Ortom said, “I wish to call on the Federal government to review the revenue sharing formula to enable us pay the wage because my administration is willing, ready and committed to prioritizing payment of workers’ salaries and this is exactly what we are doing presently.”