From OSEMWENGIE BEN OGBEMUDIA, Benin City
Comrade Emmanuel Ademokun, Edo State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has raised alarm that his life, including two other labour leaders, was under threat for declaring industrial action against Governor Godwin Obaseki led government. Comrade Ademokun revealed this while responding to questions from newsmen in Benin City on Tuesday. He said that he has petitioned the Police and the Department of Security Service (DSS) over the assassination threat.
The Organised Labour in Edo State had last week, threatened to embark on strike over deductions made on the January salaries of workers for the yet to take-off contributory pension scheme.
The planned industrial action was also to make the state government off-set salaries areas of the Local Government Workers, tertiary institutions and the Judiciary, with the state share of Paris Debt Refund.
However, the strike action have since been placed on hold, following the intervention of traditional rulers and political leaders.
Ademokun who expressed surprised with the threat of assassination, said he, with two others leaders, had received unanimous telephone calls, saying, “We have been paid to kill you.”
Elaborating more on how the proposed strike action, he said Governor Obaseki had used unpalatable words on members of the union and threatened to deal with them should they dare to embark on any strike.
“This happened in January when we met with him to iron out some grey areas concerning the pension planned scheme.
“Obviously, when we were not satisfied with his position on the matter, we told him of our decision to proceed, after which he started threatening us right there in his office.
“The truth is that we were never opposed to the scheme, but the modalities.
“We have however met again after the intervention of some persons, including traditional rulers, leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo, and a former Deputy Governor of the state.
“Obseki has also tender apology to us, especially for using foul language on us, during the meeting where we told him of our plan to go on strike,” he stated.
Ademokun who expressed satisfaction decision arrived at in the last meeting following the
intervention of prominent citizens of the state, however noted that some workers were not happy with the strike on hold.
According to him, “out of the five point demand we presented before him, he gave responded fine to four of the demands. He has agreed to off-set the salaries arrears of council workers among others.”