The Federal Government has revalidated the use of Eagle Square Abuja by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for the annual May Day parade in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday, May 1.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige announced the revalidation of the venue in a statement at the weekend.
Ngige urged all invited guests including the President, Vice President, Ministers, diplomatic missions and international partners, to endeavour to be at the venue, which remains sacrosanct.
The Minister gave this assurance following media reports that the Federal Government, acting through the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), has withdrawn the permit granted to the NLC to use the Eagle Square for this year’s May Day celebration, for reasons bordering on the preparation of the venue for the May 29 inauguration of President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He said on getting the information, he contacted his colleague, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, who attributed the development to some overzealous officials of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) , acting without his authority.
Ngige said sequel to his consultation with the FCT Minister, the NLC has been asked to go ahead with its preparation for the May Day celebration at Eagle Square, which the President, Ministers, other top government officials and the diplomatic missions are expected to attend.
The statement read: “The attention of the Honourable Minister 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.
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, as well as minor communication gap between the FCDA, the Federal Government Transition Committee and the NLC.”
” It was actually the contractor handling the renovation of the Eagle Square that informed the Transition Committee for the hand over ceremony 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 Honourable 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.
“The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment has been in touch with the leadership of organised Labour led by Comrade Joe Ajaero and has briefed them on these developments and equally extended the apologies of the Honourable 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 company incharge of the renovation of the Eagle Square for the May29 inauguration to also include the May1, 2023.”
The statement added that the FCT Administration has promised to give all necessary material support to make the event hitch free and successful, while the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment wishes all Nigerian Workers a blissful Workers day on May1.
Director of Press and Public Relations,
Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.