HomeFeaturesMay Day: How Anambra Workers Booed Soludo’s Deputy At Rally

May Day: How Anambra Workers Booed Soludo’s Deputy At Rally

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The workers in Anambra state on Wednesday registered their anger over the absence of Governor Charles Soludo at Dr Alex Ekwueme square in Awka, the venue for the commemoration of the 2024 workers’ day by booing his Deputy whom he sent to represent him. 

The deputy governor, Onyekachukwu Ibezim, who represented Soludo, was not welcomed by the organized labour as he was booed by the visibly angry workers.

The workers refused to listen to the masters of ceremony and labor leaders, led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), saying that the governor’s action was deliberate.

According to them, the governor was afraid of addressing the organized labor, describing him as ‘not worker’ friendly

The workers who initially refused to file out for the usual match past which has become synonymous with the rally, said Soludo’s absence was deliberate.

They repeatedly shouted “No” to appeal for the match-past, insisting that their morale was low.

Recall that last year’s rally did not witness any match past, with the workers citing hot weather as the reason.

Some of the workers who spoke to the Nation described the absence of the governor as a slap on them.

One of them who spoke in confidence, said: “The governor deliberately dodged the rally because of the long list of the workers’ demands.

“Sending his deputy doesn’t make any sense as he will definitely not address our demands.

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Another worker, a woman, said: “Workers’ Day is too important a day for any responsible government to ignore. What else could have kept the governor from honouring his workers?

Though the march-past eventually held, but those who filed out to participate in the exercise, reportedly did so reluctantly.

The deputy governor, who later addressed the protesting workers after several efforts to calm their nerves, assured the workers that their grievances would soon be addressed.

Describing the Soludo-led administration as people oriented, Ibezim assured the workers of better days ahead.

“Governor Soludo as a worker-friendly governor is aware of your plights. You will definitely hear from him soon,” he said.

Earlier, workers in the state have called on Governor Soludo to suspend the deduction of the contributory pension from their salaries to ensure industrial harmony in the state.

Presenting their long demands contained in a joint address by Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, through NLC chairman, Comrade Humphrey Nwafor, workers expressed worry over what they called improper introduction and implementation of the contributory pension scheme.

He said: “From the beginning of the scheme, monies deducted were rarely remitted to the Pension Fund Administrators (PFA).

“Before the present administration came on board the state was deducting only the workers’ part of the contribution even without remitting the same to the various PFA’s and refused to pay the Government part.

“The organized labour is dissatisfied with the continued deduction even after the reoccurring May Day prayers by organized labour requesting for the suspension of the scheme.

“We call on the Governor, who we believe is not only worker-friendly but hates injustice with passion, as a matter of urgency, to suspend the deduction of the contributory pension from the workers’ salary to ensure industrial harmony in the state.”

Appreciating the governor over the N12,000 wage award for them and pensioners for four months, the workers called for the re-introduction of the removed wage award.

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