Distressed workers of the National Mirror and Newswatch Times on Monday stormed the Nicon Luxury, Abuja, venue of the Global Fleet Group annual management conference as its group managing director and publisher of two newspapers, Jimoh Ibrahim, was delivering a lecture to top management staff of the company.
The workers, who have gone for about nine months without salary, stormed the venue when Mr. Ibrahim was in the middle of the lecture on how China’s development strategy has helped keep her ahead of America and other countries of the world today.
The placard wielding workers invaded the lecture venue chanting solidarity songs to demand the payment of their arrears of salaries.
But the protesters did not stop Mr. Ibrahim from going ahead with his lecture, which was broadcast live on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) national network.
“Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim why are you deceiving people?” the leader of the protesting workers could be heard from the background shouting. “Enough is enough. We cannot continue like this. You are talking about China when you have not paid us our salaries for months. You must pay us today to enable us take care of our families.”
Mr. Ibrahim, who appeared not perturbed by the protesters, merely directed that the live television coverage continue, dismissed the workers’ action as a distraction and one of those things to avoid if any company desires to succeed like China.
He later asked the security operatives to take the protesters out of the venue.
“These are staff of the National Mirror who cannot generate their own salary, and they expect the company to make money from the company to pay them. Is that practically okay? That is not possible. I have said it that any arm of the group that cannot generate money to pay its salary would be shut down.
“What we are telling our friends in the media department is that they must be sustainable.If you are not profitable, you cannot be sustainable. Profitability is a key issue in continuity. If you are in media and you cannot generate your own salary, where do you expect the payment of your salary to come from?” Mr. Ibrahim said.
“There is no democracy in corporations. Any corporation talks about democracy in corporation will fail. Democracy works in government. In government, the issue is service to the people. But, in corporation, it is about strategy, profits and survival. It does not matter how.
“Jimoh Ibrahim cannot be a nice man all his life. But, he needs to take a decision, no matter who is down,” he said.