I Need You On My Side, Umahi Begs Protesting Workers


Minister of Works, David Umahi, has apologized to workers for locking them out over lateness.

Daily Trust had reported how civil servants in the ministry of Works blocked access into the ministry in the early hours of Thursday.

It was leant that the protesting staff resorted to the action after Umahi ordered the closure of the gate into the ministry due to some staff resuming late to office.

Though the minister later asked for the gate to be opened, the staff, however, prevented access into the ministry as they claimed he acted without giving warning before engaging in his action.

However, the minister later addressed the workers and explained the reason for his decision.

While asking for forgiveness, he requested for partnership with the staff.

He said: “I would come to work and see workers coming to work by 12 O’clock, by 1 O’clock. I have had to send some of them to the permanent secretary to talk to them.

“Just a week ago, I called all the Directors and said to them: ‘Without discipline, it is difficult’. I come to work and ask for files, some of the staff are not yet in the office to provide the files.

“By 3 O’clock I ask for files, some of the workers would have left. I cannot do without you, and you cannot do without me. Today I came to work by 9:30 am. I had a number of files to transmit and not up to 5 percent of the workers were in.

“I told the head of human resources that I need to get the attention of the workers; I needed to come and address you at the gate then I saw you started doing friendly game like a fight.

“When you treat people under you well, it is not a favour to them, it is a favour to yourself. Because whatever you sow is what you reap. If you were offended this morning, I offer apologies to you. You have to support me; I am not fighting for myself. You have to support me to demand that when we pay contractors, they should respect us.”