President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abdulwahed Omar was today attacked by subscribers to the failed housing project by the union.
Omar, who was at the entrance of the Shehu Musa Yar’adua centre, the venue of the debate, was met by the subscribers carrying placards demanding refund of monies paid for the project, which ranged from about N433,000 to N1.7m, the 10 percent deposit requirement for different categories of houses. He left hurriedly due to increasing noise and restiveness of the protesters.
David Oluwole, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, accused NLC of deceit. He put the total debt owed to about 3,800 subscribers, as over N4 billion.
“It is disgusting and shocking that the NLC that is supposed to be on the side of Nigerian workers has dragged its own name into the mud, they promised affordable housing, it was over-subscribed because the NLC was involved.”
He noted that many of the subscribers had to borrow money from the bank and from cooperative societies to ensure payment of the required 10 percent.
“They promised us the keys by December 2014. We did not see any land or houses and subscribers began to demand for their money. If you enter a partnership and you fail, and the other party is asking for refund, not even with interest, and NLC keeps saying this money is intact, who are they saving it for?” he queried.
He therefore demanded a commitment ahead of the delegate conference of the NLC, which starts on Monday, where Omar would step down as NLC president following the completion of two tenures (from 2007 to 2015).
Pleading with the protesters, a Vice President of the NLC, Issa Aremu, assured that they would get their money back.
“An injury to one is an injury to all. If this has happened to you, the NLC should be the one to lead the protest. I am aware of this problem, I feel so disgusted and disgraced. I am pained that this is happening in the name of the NLC. Your fight is legitimate, if we are guilty or privy to denying you your money, we would not be here, so the burden is on us to get the money back. Before our delegate conference, there must be firm commitment on this money. I am on tape and on honour, so I assure you that if they do not get the money, I will join you to lead the protest,” he assured.