The Rivers State Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is at loggerheads with the state government over the payment of minimum wage.
The Congress accused the Nyesom Wike-led government of not keeping its promises to pay the amount of money agreed upon.
The state government disagreed and said it was paying the amount that was approved by the Federal Government as the new minimum wage.
It further accused the NLC of playing politics and hiding under the aegis of a Congress.
Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communications, on behalf of the state government, said: “The leadership should come out clearly tell Rivers people that they are politicians instead of hiding under the cover of labour to propagate their political agenda.
“Rivers State Government has commenced the payment of the new minimum wage for employees of the State Public Service with the consequential salary adjustments as approved by the Federal Government, and will not be deterred by cheap blackmail.
“Governor Nyesom Wike remains committed to workers’ welfare and will not allow the activities of a few disgruntled elements to dissuade his resolve to serve the people.”
However, Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), intervened and asked for peace.
“It seems the NLC does have a case and the only logical thing to do is to listen to them and not accuse them of being used by imaginary politicians. Perhaps Wike has forgotten that the same workers declared their support for him during the governorship election.
“There is no crime in calling the leadership of NLC to a meeting and resolve grey areas rather than threatening them with dire consequences. Only an emperor behaves this way and this is not the way to go.
“The combative nature of the governor on many occasions leaves much to be desired and it is in this kind of situation that you expect him to be reconciliatory rather than confrontational,” he said
He also appealed to the workers to remain calm and trust in the ability of the state government and NLC to iron out contending issues to the benefit of all in order to keep the economy of the state going.