Workers Day: Labour Suspends Activities In Cross River, To Protest Over Kidnapped NLC Chairman

In Breaking News, Civic Space, Crime

By Jonathan Ugbal

The organised labour in Cross River have suspended all worker’s day related activity for a protest as the kidnapped Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress in the State, Comrade Ben Ukpepi has remained missing for over one month.

Ukpepi was kidnapped on 41 days ago on March 21, 2021 at his residence in CROSPIL estate, Akpabuyo Local Government Area.

He has remained missing simce them with his abductors demanding NGN150 million as ransom with little or no outcry from stakeholders.

Lawrence Achuta, his deputy said they will gather for a protest at 9:00 AM despite a warning from the Cross River State Police command to desist from such.

Mr. Ukpepi’s abduction came days before a planned industrial action over labor issues in the State prompting initial speculations that it was the handiwork of State actors.

Labor leaders had planned an initial strike action over his kidnap.

However, the Police command in the State issued a warning against any form of protest and claimed that Mr. Ukpepi’s abduction was staged.

And, today, May 1 the annual day of celebration for workers where labor leaders often gather to make long speeches, Mr. Ukpepi who would have led the speeches is still in captivity.

Comrade Benedict Ukpepi, NLC Chairman in Cross River State
Comrade Benedict Ukpepi, NLC Chairman in Cross River State

And, his colleagues confirmed to this reporter that they will gather at the Freedom Park in Calabar to protest his abduction.

It is the second time he has faced such. 446 days ago, he was kidnapped and released days later.

Fears continue to mount about his health as ace broadcaster, Petertex ‘Godfada’ Etim who was abducted on January 11, 2019, has remained missing till date.

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