Posted on Wed 26 Apr 2017, 03:19 PM

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC has slammed the Kogi State Government for what it describes as the unlawful harassment of students in the state’s owned tertiary institutions.

In a statement issued by its President, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC said ‘the use of soldiers and other security personnel by the Kogi State Government to harass, brutalise, maim, arrest and detain peacefully-protesting students of Kogi State-owned tertiary institutions is unlawful, barbaric and unacceptable.’

“The right to peaceful protest is guaranteed by the Constitution, the highest law of the land and should not be abridged by the Governor or anyone.”
 
See the full statement below…

Stop Harassing Students, Pay Up Salaries

The use of soldiers and other security personnel by the Kogi State Government to harass, brutalise, maim, arrest and detain peacefully-protesting students of Kogi State-owned tertiary institutions is unlawful, barbaric and unacceptable.
The right to peaceful protest is guaranteed by the Constitution, the highest law of the land and should not be abridged by the Governor or anyone.

The students should therefore be released immediately and unconditionally, else the entire Labour Movement with its Civil Society allies will mobilise the state without further notice.

We advise the Governor who has fought everybody that has dared to raise a voice, not to test the will or the resolve of the Nigerian workers to see through the task of preserving democracy in the state.

We find it necessary to state that tertiary institutions owned by the Government of Kogi State have been on strike for over six months over unpaid salaries. In the said period, the students took it upon themselves to mediate between the workers and the Government. And whereas, the workers were ready to make concessions, the government refused to shift ground.

The impact of the strike on all the parties has been great but with the students worst hit, as some have lost an academic year already, while others have twice missed the opportunity to graduate and do national service.

With no solution in sight or any appreciable effort by government to bring the strike action to an end, the students were left with no option than to embark on a peaceful protest intended to bring government and the striking workers to the negotiating table.
We find it saddening that instead of commending the students for their initiative and patriotism, the State Government elected to Criminalise the peaceful protest which suggests no lesson has been learnt from such fruitless adventures.

It is interesting to note that Kogi State tops the chart of non-salary paying states with fifteen (15) months backlog inspite of warehousing for the government of Yahaya Bello the first bail-out fund and the second bail-out.

Salaries and pensions constitute fundamental human rights of workers and pensioners and nothing should be done to threaten these or else the lives of workers, pensioners and their families are put in jeopardy.

In light of the foregoing, we advise Governor Yahaya Bello to pay up without further delay outstanding salaries and pensions, negotiate with striking workers in tertiary institutions instead of intimidating or incarcerating students.
 
Comrade Ayuba Wabba,mni
President

 

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