The crisis between the workers and the president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba has taken a different dimension with the stakeholders threatening that Ayuba Wabba should be held responsible if anything happens to their chairman and his family, Chief Emeka Anuna.
Ayuba Wabba had earlier threatened to deal with Anuna and his wife when the latter protested at the Labour House in Abuja on January 18, 2023 over the investment of N400,034,000 on a housing scheme located at Apo-Tafyi District in Abuja.
In a press conference, organised by the members of FGN/NLC/Workers Housing Scheme, yesterday, in Abuja, the spokesman of the group, Mr Abasi-Ubong, said that in 2014 the Federal Government, represented by the Federal Capital Territory Authority, and NLC/Trade Union Congress (TUC) signed a memorandum of understanding with a property developer, Goodhomes Development Company Limited to deliver 1,000 units (out of a total 10,000 units) of houses to Nigerian workers within one year.
“The parcel of land on which these property would be built is located at Apo Tafyi district after the mechanic village at Apo, Abuja. The project was flagged off on Thursday December 18, 2014 by the then president, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
Sequel to the flag-off, the property developer, in collaboration with the NLC and TUC had publicised and sensitised Nigerian workers to subscribe to the scheme. On the strength of the involvement of both NLC and TUC, hundreds of Nigerian workers subscribed to the scheme by making upfront payments in various forms ranging from 10 per cent to 100 per cent down payments” he said.
According to the spokesman, the money was paid into the account owned and operated by Goodhomes Development Company Limited. He said that the workers who subscribed to the scheme were expected to take mortgage loans from the Federal Mortgage Bank and other mortgage institutions to offset the full payment of the housing unit while the repayment of the mortgage is deducted from the workers’ salary. According to the project plan made available by the company, the first phase of the project was expected to be delivered in December 2015.
He said that since 2014 when they subscribed, they have neither been given the land nor their money refunded them, a situation that resulted in their peaceful protests to relevant authorities.
Recall that on January 18, 2023, Wabba was reported to have assaulted Anuna publicly threatening to sack the wife from International Labour Organisation (ILO), now known as International Trade Union Congress (ITUC).
Anuna and a handful of federal civil servants had protested in front of the NLC headquarters in Abuja over their investment in a housing scheme at Apo Mechanic Village in Abuja.
According to Anuna, the civil servants had met all the requirements for the land but the federal government in conjunction with the NLC and an estate agent, known as Goodhomes, refused to give them the houses.
All efforts to speak with the NLC spokesperson, Mr Benson Upah proved abortive as he told the reporter that he was not in a position to listen to him and switched off his phone.
“I am in a programme. I can’t hear you” he said, and switched off his phone.