Some police officers on Monday raided the office of the Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour in Nigeria, SAP-CLN, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, in Abuja, run by children of former Senate President, David Mark. The NGO is reportedly owned by Kingsley Mark and Blessing Onuh.
The police invaded the NGO’s office located at Djiboute Street in Wuse 2, Abuja after its workers who alleged that they have not been paid for over five months made several attempts to break into the building after they were locked out of the premises.
DAILY POST had recently reported how the management of SAP-CLN had on two separate occasions reneged on its promises to upset the backlog of salaries it owed the angry workers.
The renewed protest, however, resulted from information the workers got on Sunday evening that buses and other properties of the NGO were being moved to Otukpo, the hometown of former Senate President, David Mark, apparently in a bid to shut down the company without settling the aggrieved workers.
An aggrieved protester told DAILY POST that management had on Saturday night allegedly ”sneaked the buses to Otukpo, in Benue State without the knowledge of the drivers. This, the drivers and other staff believe is a plot not to pay us”, he lamented.
Things, however, got messy during the protest when the aggrieved workers armed with the information broke into the office and drove out the only available bus, just to register their displeasure over the non-payment of their entitlement. According to the driver, the bus could be taken in place of the salaries they were being owed.
The driver was, however, called back by the management and asked to return the bus to the premises as even if sold, cannot offset the outstanding salaries.
Following the development, some stern looking police officers who refused to speak with our reporter, stormed the office premises, threatening to arrest those attempting to cause trouble.
Speaking with our correspondent, another bus drivers who pleaded not to be named said, “They drove the buses to Otukpo in the middle of the night without calling on us because they secretly wanted to sack us without paying our entitlement.”
“The only bus that was left was because it was bad, but when we got here this morning, we fixed the bus and drove it out just to tell them that we want our money.”
They urged the management to pay them their entitlement and informed them properly if there services are no longer needed.
“If the work has stopped, they should tell us and pay us our salaries and allowances of five months, we are tied of this wickedness.
“Some of us have resorted to menial jobs because we have to cater for our families,” another protester lamented.
Reacting to the incident, the Coordinator of SAP-CLN, Grace Odukwe, however, debunked claims that the buses where smuggled to Otukpo, saying “they only took the buses for repairs. Some of them are in bad condition, even before the protesters took up the course.”
On the issue of non-payment, she said, “They should stop making a case out of nothing, even me, I have not been paid. The problem is from the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA that is yet to release the subvention.”