The Federal Government has approved the use of Eagle Square for the annual May Day celebration for workers in the FCT.
The Director of Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, in statement on Saturday in Abuja, acknowledged the protest of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) that the Federal Government refused their request to use the Eagle Square for the Workers Day celebration. He said that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, had intervened in the issue.
The Director in the statement highlighted: “The attention of the 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.
“That is for the 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.
“This is, as well as minor communication gap between the FCDA, the Federal Government Transition Committee and the NLC.”
He said it was actually the contractor handling the renovation of the Eagle Square, Julius Berger, that informed the Transition Committee for the handover ceremony.
Oshundun added 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 minister of labour and employment that the place is available for NLC to use on May 1, which is the 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 organisations, organised 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,’’ he said.
He said the minister of labour and employment has been in touch with the leadership of organised labour, led by Mr Joe Ajaero and had briefed them on the developments.
Oshundun also said that Ngige had equally extended the apologies of the 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 FCT Administration had promised to give all necessary material support to make the event hitch free and successful, while the Minister of Labour and Employment wishes all Nigerian Workers a blissful Workers Day in May,’’ he said.