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Sunday, June 23, 2024

I Have Total Respect for Workers and Will Never Denigrate Them — The Anambra Lawmaker Accused of Calling Protests Workers Robots

 

BY RAYMOND OZOJI, Awka

Contrary to a false viral video trending on the social media where the peddlers claimed that the lawmaker representing Aguata 2 State Constituency in the 8th legislature, Hon. Tony Ifedilichukwu Muobike called Anambra workers Robots, the lawmaker has said that he didn’t say such thing neither did he make any denigrating statements against civil servants in the state.

Muobike who spoke exclusively with this journalist with an emotionally ladened voice said opposition elements were bent on dragging his hard earned reputation in the mud because he simply could not comprehend the reason some people would purposely dish out falsehoods and blatant lies only for reasons of cheap blackmail.

He said what really happened on Monday 3rd June at the state assembly complex Awka was that striking NLC members carrying sticks and other destructive objects found their way into the complex chanting war songs.

He said lawmakers who were present at the time came to calm the situation but one of the NLC members whom he said confronted him and threatened to beat him up if he doesn’t leave the assembly complex.

Meanwhile some NLC members were busy making videos of the confrontations and molestations against Hon. Tony Muobike and his colleagues which they mischievously edited and launched into the social media to create wrong impressions.

Muobike who refuted allegations making the rounds that he pronounced civil servants as robots and called them nuisance, maintained that they were all lies from the pit of hell, saying that the allegations were the handiworks of the opposition.

The lawmaker said, ” At no time did I ever say something like that. What actually happened was that in the morning of Monday 3rd June 2024, we were in the office working because we go to work everyday, and suddenly we started hearing some noise emanating from the security gate and we looked and saw some people carrying sticks and some other items chanting songs and approaching the offices of the assembly members.

We rightly assumed that they maybe labour leaders because there was a strike action going on. So we came down quietly to address them just in a proper and quiet manner.

Myself and other lawmakers came down to address them. It was all rowdy. They were chanting and saying that they will bring the complex down, if we don’t vacate the premises with immediate effect.

Then one particular unionist amongst them by said to be the state president of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Anambra State recognised me and started shouting at us to leave the complex.

I also remember that there is a current situation with him where his colleagues are alleging that he did not graduate from the university where he claimed to have gotten his degree.

His colleagues are alleging that he forged the certificate of Abia State University with which he got employment with the Anambra State Local Government Service Commission.

So when he was shouting at us and saying that he will beat us up, I quietly told him that he is not supposed to be a labour leader because his position is being questioned by his colleagues. That there is a current letter from the Abia State University that his certificate is a forgery.

When I told him that he got even mad and he started threatening me that i should leave the complex. That if I don’t leave the complex, he will tear my clothes and beat me up. So when the whole scenario got messier, I left the scene.

Thereafter I began to see stories where people claimed I said labour leaders are robots. That they are a bunch of nuisance. That they don’t deserve minimum wage and all that. All these are lies because I never said or insinuated things like that. ”

Muobike however noted that unionists were part of the society and he respects them alot, adding that labour leaders were there to protect the interest of workers.

Muobike also acknowledged that Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo is doing well for workers in the state as confirmed by the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) the day he visited him at the Government House recently.

He therefore reiterated that he didn’t make such demeaning statements, only that the purveyors of such falsehoods were being sponsored by opposition elements to perpetuate lies against him.

The lawmaker maintained that it is a welcome development if the organized labour wants to come to the House of Assembly but not to beat security details at the gate and invade the complex with harmful objects as if they were coming to chase criminals.

Muobike who said that the leadership of the House of Assembly has already waded into the matter, said he stands in total solidarity with Anambra workers and will never make any denigrating, demeaning or dehumanizing statement against them.

He said, “We are all workers. As a representative of my constituency, there are a lot of workers from my constituency that also form part of the Anambra state workforce. I represent them and I stand to protect their interests.

“So in the larger outlook, we as a House of Assembly are there to protect the interest of our people which includes the workers.

“So I stand in solidarity with the workers of Anambra State and I want to tell them I never made any such statements against them.

“I have total respect for them and I will never denigrate workers. I believe that they deserve every good thing as the workers of Anambra state.

“They are not robots. They are not nuisances. Nobody should call them that name. I did not call them and I will never call them such names.”

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