On-going strike protest against culture of state violence, impunity –NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress, has said that the on-going nationwide strike action was against the emerging culture of state violence and impunity.

NLC Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, in a statement on Wednesday, said:

We would want Nigerians to 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.

Even as 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 NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, 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.

Brutalised President of NLC, Joe Ajaero

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.

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The arrest, beating and torture of Joe Ajaero represents the raising of the stakes in this culture of harassment and intimidation and we have no apology for resisting this through a strike.

For those not in the know, tyranny begins with the loss of personal liberty through the negative deployment of state power through it’s agents.

Critics of labour unions forget that they could be the next victims tomorrow.

Finally, 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,” NLC added.

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