There was confusion at the secretariat of Rivers State Government on Thursday as the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, was barred from entering the premises by private security men manning the main gate.
It was learnt that Wabba had planned to enter the secretariat and address workers but was locked out by the men at the gate, who later left the scene.
The workers were said to have waited for the arrival of the NLC helmsman only to discover that he was not allowed to come in.
Having noticed that some of the workers desperately wanted to hear from him, Wabba exchanged pleasantries with them and beckoned on them to meet him at the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists on Moscow Road, close to the Rivers State Secretariat.
It was also learnt that the rostrum put in place for Wabba to address the workers in their secretariat had earlier been dismantled by a group of persons led by the state Head of Service, Mr. Rufus Godwin.
One of the workers, who did not want his name mentioned, probably to avoid being victimized, said, “When the Head of Service dismantled the rostrum already fixed for the NLC President to address the workers, it was then that we realized that there was fire on the mountain.
“All the workers came out to see what was going to happen and when the NLC President finally came, the security man locked the gate and ran away. We have a lot of issues to address, but they don’t want the man (Wabba) to meet us.
“The government is the one playing politics with the people’s welfare, but whatever happens, the NLC President must address the workers; nobody will stop it.”
However, several efforts made by our correspondent to get the response of the Head of Service, Mr. Rufus Godwin, was not successful as several calls to his mobile phone were not answered.
A text message sent to him, stating what happened at the state secretariat, was also not replied.
But the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, said policemen, who were present at the scene, only went to the state secretariat to maintain law and order. Punch