The National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, on Tuesday led workers in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, to protest the killing of two workers allegedly killed by security agents attached to the Government House while on a protest a couple of weeks ago.
This is as solidarity protests took place simultaneously in Kwara, Kogi and Katsina states on Tuesday.
The Kwara protesters, led by the state’s NLC Chairman, Mr. Yekini Agunbiade, marched from the NLC secretariat along Lajorin Street, Ilorin, to the junction at Ahmadu Bello Way, which is close to the state headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force.The protesters were received by the Kwara State Government delegation led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, Mr. Bisi Fakoyode.
Agunbiade handed over a letter of the NLC’s demands to the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, through Fakoyode.
Agunbiade said, “We are protesting against the killing of two of our colleagues in Nassarawa (State) by the Nigerian Police. Also, we have salary backlogs in the state and other labour issues. We want our governor to address them.”
Fakoyode, who commended the workers on their maturity, assured them of the interest of the state governor to their welfare and promised that the state government would look into their demands.
In Katsina, the NLC on Tuesday morning held a peaceful procession over the same incident. It was led by the state’s NLC chairman, Tenumu Saulawa.
The procession took off from the NLC state secretariat at “Sabon line” and ended at Shehu Kangiwa square while union members wore black armband to mourn the slain workers.
Although the procession was peaceful, security officers accompanied the protesters in order to ensure that it was not hijacked by hoodlums.
Saulawa, in his address at the square, called on the Nasarawa State Government to pay compensation to the families of the slain workers. He also declared that the NLC would continue to fight any anti-labour policy either by the Federal Government or by the state.
He called for the prompt arrest and prosecution of those behind the killing of the workers.
In Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, a similar protest took place on Tuesday.
The Kogi State Chairman of the NLC, Onuh Edoka, who led the protest, condemned the brutal murder of the workers and injuring of others who were protesting against the 50 per cent deductions in their salaries by the Nasarawa State Government.
He called on the Federal Government, the Inspector- General of Police and the National Human Rights Commission to, as a matter of urgency, investigate the incident and ensure all those found culpable were brought to justice to serve as a deterrent to others.
Edoka noted that trade union movements had been parts and parcel of the struggles that brought about democracy in Nigeria, wondering why governors who were beneficiaries of the struggle had turned autocratic and deploying security forces against defenceless workers who were demanding for their legitimate entitlements.