September 29, 2023

Lateness: Workers lock-in works minister, Umahi for locking them out of offices

Lateness: Workers lock-in works minister, Umahi for locking them out of offices

Minister of Works, David Umahi

By John Alechenu

Workers in the federal ministry of works yesterday locked-in the minister, Dave Umahi, in protest, for locking them out of their offices, citing lateness to work.

Consequently, entry and exit of the ministry was stopped by the protesting workers who described the minister as dictatorial.

The protesters who were heard chanting “Umahi must go,” expressed displeasure over his action which they said did not take into consideration the fact that they reside in areas outside the city centre.

One of the staff who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said: “Most of us live in areas as far as Suleja in Niger State, some in Gwagwalada, Keffi, Abaji, Kuje Kwali, Kaduna road.

“Matters have been compounded by the fuel subsidy removal. Most times, we have to join some of our friends who have cars to come to work because of the huge transportation cost.

“Most of us don’t earn up to N80,000 as salary monthly, how do we feed our families and meet other obligations ?

”We expect the minister to show better understanding of the situation in the country, instead of trying to run this place like Ebonyi State.”

Calm was, however, restored following the intervention of union and other senior officials of the ministry.

When our correspondent visited the Ministry’s headquarters situated in Mabushi, normal activities appeared to have returned but some of the staff were seen in clusters discussing the situation.

It was gathered that the Permanant Secretary is planning a meeting with directors and other departmental heads to find a middle ground to avoid a repeat of the incident.