The Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC ) is demanding the arrest and prosecution of the Special Assistant to the Kaduna state Governor on Public Affairs, Mouktar Maigamo for allegedly mobilising thugs to attack workers during the mass rally organised by the Congress in Kaduna to protest the sack of teachers by the government.
Not less than 10 hoodlums were reportedly arrested on Thursday in Kaduna while attempting to infiltrate the protesters armed with dangerous weapons.
In a statement signed by the General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, the congress is also demanding proper investigation and prosecution of all those arrested, while condemning the action of security agents for preventing several union leaders and members from entering Kaduna on the day of the protest.
The Congress said the mass action against the sack of the workers has just started, pointing out that nobody can prevent organized labour from exercise the right to protest as enshrined in the nation’s constitution as the Supreme Court has already ruled on that.
The statement reads: “we have been reliably informed that the thugs who were sent to attack workers during our mass protest in Kaduna on Thursday were led by the Special Assistant to the Governor of Kaduna State on Public Affairs, Mouktar Maigamo who was seen among the machetes wielding hoodlums as they moved towards the secretariat of the State Council of Nigeria Labour Congress in Kaduna.
‘Though we have also been reliably informed that 10 of the hoodlums were arrested, we insist that the Special Assistant must also be arrested. All those arrested must be prosecuted by security agencies.
“We condemn the security agencies for preventing several union leaders and workers from entering Kaduna city as all the entry points were occupied by heavily armed security agents. The actions of the security agents, ostensibly at the behest of the Governor, are clear violations of the fundamental rights of workers, like every other Nigerian, to free movement.
“Before the mass protests, we had informed all security agencies especially the Police and Department of State Security and what we expected of them was the provision of adequate coverage and security for the protection of workers participating in the procession and not to prevent entry of labour leaders and workers into Kaduna city.
“For us, the actions of the police, army and other security agencies, who chose to act against the people on the orders of the State Government cannot and will not deter us from taking further mass actions against the illegal and irresponsible sack of workers in Kaduna State.
“We are fully determined to ensure the recall of all the sacked workers and will not relent in our efforts as we will use every lawful means to compel El Rufai to reverse his anti-workers stance.
“The mass actions just got started and nobody, group of persons or authority can stop us as peaceful protests are not only lawful but a fundamental right of the Nigerian people as guaranteed by the constitution and strengthened by the Supreme Court.
“The only way the mass protests and strike can be stopped is by the Governor respecting the judgement of the National Industrial Court by reversing the sack of over 36, 000 workers.
“We thank all the workers and our allies who participated in the protest march yesterday and reassure the Kaduna State workers of our continued support,” NLC stated.