The issue of employees embarking on strike has been a recurring decimal in Nigeria, particularly when these strikes are direct results of poor management and negligence by either the federal government or corrupt individuals saddled with the responsibility of managing such employees.
This happens to be the case in the crisis rocking the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA as reports reaching SecretReporters has it that following the Strike action and protest by employees of the agency on Monday 18th June 2018, in which the aggrieved workers in protest for their demands barricaded the entrance gate with a fire truck, the callous DG Engineer Mustapha Maihaja in a clear display of arrogance and criminality decided to use the police and FRSC to intimidate the striking staff who now fear for the safety of their lives.
According to an aggrieved staff of the agency who contacted SecretReporters, at about 1:30am on Monday, a convoy of Police and FRSC officials directed by AIG Taiwo Lakanu, who is a close friend to the DG arrived the NEMA office Abuja with a clear intention to intimidate the striking workers who kept vigil at the entrance gate of the agency to protest for their rights as the DG has vehemently refused to adhere to the agreement he signed in front of labour minister, Dr. Chris Ngige with the staff about 8 months ago.
Documents made available to our reporter revealed that the terms of the agreement of the meeting held on 19th October 2017 in Abuja at the honorable minister’s conference room were cunningly shelved by the DG as he dishonestly went against his words by refusing to adhere to the terms of the agreement after it was signed.
The terms of agreement SecretReporters learnt contained pressing issues like: The refusal of NEMA management to pay legitimate overtime claims of deserving staff, refusal to pay DTAs and other claims to deserving staff, refusal to renew the personnel life assurance policy for staff, refusal to carry out staff annual training, hazard allowance, separation of women from their families and many more.
Investigations by our reporter revealed that not only did the DG ground 2 expensive helicopters and air ambulance; he has also refused to pay for the aircraft insurance and the full maintenance of one of the aircraft. Six staffs have died since he came into office, and rather than compensate the family fully with the usual N1.3million, he reduced the amount to N300,000 keeping the rest to his greedy self. We also learnt that he has also refused to pass to the Senate the condition of service of the staff in the agency.
Further investigations revealed that if a staff was sent on a trip outside Abuja, the gluttonous DG will cut off their DTA and any protest or attempt to confront him will lead to the immediate reposting of the staff out of Abuja unjustly.
These and many other activities are the backbone to the clamor by the aggrieved workers who insist that though they fear for their lives as the DG now uses the police as his tool of operation, they will not be intimidated as its either the DG implements his agreement to pay their entitlements which he entered with them or vacate the seat to pave way for capable hands to handle the affairs of the agency.