Friday OLOKOR, Jos
The celebration of 2018 workers’ Day in Plateau State was almost disrupted by the exchange of blows between loyalists of the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Jibrin Banchir, and his opponents.
After the closing ceremony, he was escorted out of the Rwang Pam Stadium, venue of the event by armed operatives of the Department of State Services.
Before trouble started for the NLC chairman, members of the Plateau State Council of the Nigeria Union of Teachers and National Union of Local Government Employees, had during their march parade, raised three fingers each, which was a euphemism for three months salaries arrears.
But as Banchir mounted the podium to speak, he was booed by Plateau workers who refused to allow him to read his prepared address.
THE PUNCH observed that even when he forced himself to speak, his voice was consumed by shouts of ‘No, No, No’, amidst intermittent disruptions.
The protests took a dramatic turn when some workers loyal to the NLC Chairman and those opposed to him threw punches at each other.
Although details of the embarrassment were still sketchy, our correspondent learnt that Banchir started well as Plateau NLC chairman but lost his popularity when he became too close to the past and present state governments.
When contacted by our correspondent on the incident, Banchir said, “Let’s speak later, I’m addressing a group (of people); is that okay?”
But as of the time of this report, he had yet to call back for his response to the embarrassment.