We Condemn the Attack on Workers in Rivers State
Nigeria Labour Congress wish to condemn in the strongest terms the attack on the members of the Rivers State Executive Council (SEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) by thugs and mercenaries hired by the State Government.
The attack was nihilistic and barbaric and represents the height of intolerance, arrogance and executive lawlessness.
The meeting of the State Executive Council held at the Secretariat of the Medical and Health Workers Union in the first place because the Secretariat of the NLC State Council has been locked up by the State Government for the past eight months over a disagreement on the payment of the new national minimum wage.
The Governor, on the basis of this disagreement, did not only order the State Council Secretariat shut under the guise of a phoney integrity check of a building built by the state government and commissioned only in 2019. The so-called integrity test has lasted as much as eight months.
The Governor in furtherance of executive lawlessness caused his personal security to arrest and unlawfully detain the State Chairperson of the Judiciary Staff Union (JUSUN) for an indefinite period of time before taking him to court on trumped-up charges.
Shortly after his release, he was kidnapped by “unknown persons”
Coupled with this, other union executives have come under various
forms of harassment in the hands of the agents of the state government suffering varying degrees of injury in the process.
The running harassment of Labour leaders in Rivers State is against the provisions of our national constitution, labour legislation and other international instruments that guarantee the freedom of association, speech and right to organise.
In light of this, we urge all relevant authorities, organizations, and individuals to call to order Emperor Nyesom Wike in the interest of industrial peace and deepened social justice in Rivers State.
Governor Wike cannot be above the law. He should respect union rights and rights of individuals.
We do not believe arbitrary use of executive powers are lawful powers of governors.
Accordingly, we urge Governor Wike to listen to the voice of reason.
Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni
President, Nigeria Labour Congress
27th August 2020