Home NEWS Leadership Tussle: NLC laments outbreak of violence at NURTW’s Secretariat

Leadership Tussle: NLC laments outbreak of violence at NURTW’s Secretariat

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed lamentation and regrettable over the outbreak of violence at the National Secretariat of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

The Union, in a statement signed by  the Acting President, Comrade Kabir Ado Minjibir said the unfortunate event resulted in loss of life, injuries, and extensive property damage.

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“In August, we raised alarm regarding the actions of the Police targeting the legitimate leadership of the Union, and the hidden motives behind wresting control for the benefit of a select few who invoked the name of the President of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“We imnplored the Police leadership to reassess their actions and align them with the legal framework and international standards that govern industrial relations.

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The Union regrettably said instead of heeding its plea, the Police extended their support in the unlawful occupation of the Union’s national headquarters, in stark violation of established legal and industrial relations norms.

The Acting President of the NLC stated that the democratically elected leadership of the Union was forcibly ousted while the area was cordoned off by the Police.

“We emphasized the peril this illegality posed to peace and its adverse implications for our democratic traditions.”

“Recognizing its gravity, the issue was prominently featured in the agenda of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Congress on August 31st. NEC members unanimously condemned the Police’s actions, which became our second reason leading to the successful nationwide 2-Day Warning Strike on the 5th and 6th of this month.”

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He maintained that despite forewarnings, the Police persisted in their unlawful intervention, providing cover for those imposing themselves on the Union.

“We engaged in discussions with the Police leadership, reaching an understanding on a roadmap towards peace to safeguard lives and property.

“It is disheartening that our concerns were not heeded and the roadmap unimplemented.

He  emphasized that, had its advice been heeded, the tragic incident could have been averted, stressing that lives could have been spared, properties safeguarded, and injuries avoided.

“We are left bewildered as to how such an incident could occur under Police presence, unless there are undisclosed motives.”

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“The NLC is also alarmed by the Police’s handling of the matter. Our investigations suggest undue favouritism by the State in enforcing peace.

“We are perturbed to learn that the democratically elected leaders of the Union are being detained while the other parties have been discreetly released.

The Acting President of the NLC maintained that Justice demands equal treatment in conflicts of this nature.

According to him, “we urgently call upon the Police authorities to promptly release the democratically elected Union leaders from detention and conduct a fair investigation into the violence.

He added that “Our nation cannot afford to entertain any semblance of impunity or bias, especially at this critical juncture.

He further stated that “Let us refrain from exacerbating an already precarious situation with actions that may be construed as partiality towards illegality.”

He noted that the NLC holds the State and the Police accountable for their inaction and unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of the Union.

He explained that “Established statutory avenues for resolution exist and should have been followed, but it appears that authorities are disinclined to adhere to them.”

He further explained that disregarding democratic rights and practices inevitably leads to such regrettable incidents, which could have been avoided through steadfast adherence to democratic principles.

The Union additionally implored the Police to veer away from the unsustainable course and adhere to the previously agreed roadmap to prevent further escalation of the crisis, “In these critical times, those entrusted with public confidence must exercise prudence, and those responsible for upholding our laws must refrain from being perceived as spearheading an assault against them.” He revealed.

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