June 5, 2024

Organized labour slams Anambra lawmaker for allegedly assaulting union officials


By Vincent Ujumadu

THE organized labour in Anambra State has slammed a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly for allegedly assaulting its officials who were picketing the Assembly complex during the suspended strike.

 The lawmaker, Tony Muobike, representing Aguata 2 constituency was said to have told the workers that they do not deserve any new minimum wage and that robots would soon take over their jobs.

Eye witnesses said the altercation could have degenerated to physical brawl, but for the intervention of security operatives present.

Muobike had, however, denied making such statements, claiming that he was simply addressing the protesting workers in a peaceful manner.

Angered by the action of the lawmaker, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC in a statement on Wednesday described Muobike’s behavior as dishonourable and lacking the qualities of a legislator.

In a statement jointly signed by the state secretaries of NLC and TUC, Gaius Chukwuka and Alex C. Ebi respectively, labour described the lawmaker’s behaviour as weird.

Their statement read in part: “The organized labour in Anambra State wishes to set the record straight on what transpired between the organized labour and House of Assembly members on the 3rd day of June, 2024.

“Before now, the organized labour was silent on the dehumanizing utterances of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA lawmaker representing Aguata 2 Constituency, Hon Anthony Muobike who we all knew how he ascended into the House of Assembly, until we started reading on the social media his indefensible act on aggrieved Anambra workers.

“His immature attitude shows the disconnect between him and his Constituency. Without cause, he callously accused Anambra workers of not deserving a minimum wage and could be replaced by robots.

“The question was, were the workers protesting against Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the state governor he was allegedly defending? He is totally dishonorable and lacking all the qualities of a lawmaker in modern times to have uttered such words.

“Recall that the declaration of indefinite strike by the Organized Labour at the National, NLC/TUC Communique dated 31st March 2024 directing all affiliate unions to embark on indefinite strike over issues bordering on hike in electricity tariff and new national minimum wage

“The organized labour Anambra State was on a peaceful monitoring to ensure total compliance that all public offices were closed. On getting to the Anambra House of Assembly complex, we discovered that there were activities going on in the complex with their access gate wide open.

“The problem started when the members of the congress were chanting a solidarity song demanding that the complex should be shut down as Anambra State is not an exception.

“Why threaten workers led by their leaders of physical violence? It shows his level of intolerance in the face of people with genuine demands and a nationwide protest.’

“Muobike should be apologizing to Nigerians and workers of Anambra State over his sabotage on the struggle of the labour unions to alleviate hardship on Nigerians.”