January 6, 2012
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) condemns the invasion of its Secretariat, Labour House, Abuja by thugs right under the noses of the police. The thugs numbering about seventy who were hired by government agents, later apologized for their action claiming that they were not told they were being brought to the NLC. They revealed that they were promised One Thousand Naira (
N1,000) each to carry out the invasion. Subsequently, they forced the agents that brought them to pay the N1,000 fee right in the presence of the cameras.
The aim of the invasion was to cause a fracas and claim that workers are divided over the issue of fuel price increase.
It is instructive that while the invasion was on, the FCT Police Command ignored calls by NLC officers to come and escort the thugs out of the Labour premises. Also, the heavily armed security men who had condoned off part of the NTA Link Road where Labour Hosue is situated did nothing to stop the invaders.
The NLC views this incident as another desperate attempt by the increasingly isolated and unpopular Jonathan administration to stop the mass movement against its insensitive and ridiculous fuel price increases of between 120-220 per cent.
The Militarization of Abuja
As part of its desperate moves to abort the peoples mass protests and intimidate Nigerians, the Presidency this morning turned out heavily armed units of the Presidential guards. The troops blocked roads, condoned off parts of the city, harrassed and frisked passersby.
We condemn this “show of force” designed to intimidate peace loving Nigerians. The NLC also condemns this misuse of the army and warn that the police and armed forces are citizens like the rest of us who are equally affected by the negative impacts of the fuel price hike, and should therefore not be taken for granted.
The Labour Movement specifically ask Abuja residents to hold demonstrations in various parts of the city and its surburbs, and march to the city centre by 8am from Monday 9th January, 2012
Ignore Propaganda on Fuel Price Reversal
Fraudulent text messages were sent around this morning claiming that Government had reverted PMS (Petrol) price back to N65 and that on the strength of this, Labour had called off the general strike, rallies and mass protests which commence on Monday 9th January, 2012. Another text message claims that the strike and commencement dates have been shifted. There is no truth in these claims.
The NLC informs Nigerians that on this issue of strikes and protests, only statements or messages from the Labour Movement should be taken as authentic.
We reiterate that the right of Nigerians to peaceful assembly and protest is a fundamental one which no government can abridge. The NLC will work with the patriotic Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to bring those who brutalize Nigerians, and their bosses who issue the orders, to justice.
Acting General Secretary