The Federal Government has reversed its earlier decision to stop the organized labour from using Eagle Square Abuja for this year’s May Day celebration, on the ground that the venue is undergoing renovation for the May 29 inauguration of a new administration.
Labour had Friday expressed dissatisfaction over the withdrawal of the approval of the venue earlier granted it, and drew a battle line with the Government. The Ministry of Labour and Employment, in a statement Saturday night, blamed the revocation on the handiwork of some overzealous officials of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, reads:
“The attention of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has been drawn to press releases and statements in the media that the Federal Government disapproved of the NLC using the Eagle Square for the annual May Day parade, for reasons bordering on the preparation of the venue for the May 29 inauguration of President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“On receiving the report, the Minister contacted his colleague, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Bello, who blamed the development on some overzealous officials, acting without his authority, as well as a minor communication gap between the FCDA, the Federal Government Transition Committee, and the NLC.
“It was actually the contractor handling the renovation of the Eagle Square, Messrs Julius Berger that informed the Transition Committee for the handover ceremony that they erected their equipment even before last Thursday when the Nigerian Army used the venue for an event attended by the President.
“Consequently, the FCT Minister assured the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment that the place is available for NLC to use on May 1, which is Workers Day.
“This May Day is the last in the life of this administration. The NLC parade belongs to everybody, including government, diplomatic missions, international organizations, organized Labour and affiliate unions, and members of the public. The President, Ministers, and others cannot shut themselves out. The Eagle Square is still available for all these individuals.
“All invited people should make themselves available for the parade at Eagle Square, most especially the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the diplomatic missions, and the international partners.
“The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment has been in touch with the leadership of organized Labour led by Comrade Joe Ajaero and has briefed them on these developments and equally extended the apologies of the Honourable Minister of FCT for the unintended embarrassment occasioned by the action of their officials who misinterpreted the general intention and work plan of one month of Messrs Julius Berger the company in charge of the renovation of the Eagle Square for the May 29 inauguration to also include the May 1, 2023.
“The FCT Administration has promised to give all necessary material support to make the event hitch-free and successful, while the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment wishes all Nigerian Workers a blissful Workers Day on May 1”.
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