THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has described its ongoing strike as a protest against an emerging culture of violence and impunity in the country.
Benson Upah, the Head of Information and Public Affairs of the NLC, took to a statement on Wednesday, in Abuja, to urge Nigerians to disregard the narrative that organized labour embarked on strike over a private matter.
According to Upah, Nigerians must not lend themselves to the “private matter” narrative being promoted by agents of government as it is intended to divert attention from the real issues.
He said no freedom can be greater than the personal liberty of an individual in a popular democracy, which was violently and viciously violated in Imo.
“What the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria are fighting through this strike action are serial acts of violence/assault and impunity committed against individuals and organisations by the Nigeria Police Force or under their watchful eye or supervision.
“We make haste to cite three instances here even as there are several others within the brief life of this government.
“We recall the despicable role of the police in the forceful seizure of the offices of NURTW, RTEAN and NUPENG.
“This strike among other things, is a protest against this reprehensible impunity which is fast becoming the signature of this government,” the NLC Head of Media stated.
Upah also stated that the arrest, beating and torture of Comrade Joe Ajaero represents a raising of the stakes in the culture of harassment and intimidation. He stressed that labour has no apology for resisting the development through a strike.
He said, for those not in the know, tyranny begins with the loss of personal liberty through the negative deployment of state power through its agents.
“Critics of labour unions forget that they could be the next victims tomorrow.
“We demand that the government of President Bola Tinubu nip in the bud this burgeoning culture of harassment, intimidation, violence and terror!
“We will not back down until we secure a commitment from government to govern by the prescribed laws of the land.
“We are clear about our objectives and we are not in need of approval ratings from agents of government passing themselves off as our friends.
“The gradual closing of democratic space is a clear and present danger or tendency we can ill-afford to ignore,” he noted in the statement.
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