The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday denounced reported police intimidation and harassment of union leaders, threatening to picket police stations and headquarters across the country if the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, does not put an end to the unlawful behavior.

    The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), one of NLC’s affiliates, was the subject of the IGP’s alleged illegal meddling in the internal affairs of which the NLC specifically raised the alert.

    In spite of court rulings to the contrary, the NURTW’s president, Joe Ajaero, said in a statement that the NURTW’s legal operations had been hampered and restrained in Lagos State and other Southwest states of Oyo, Osun, and Ondo.

    NLC Rally

    The NLC highlighted that the same elements that forcibly seized control of the union in some states and renamed them as Lands and Parks in some are attempting to extend their reach countrywide because they feel unopposed and thus invincible.

    According to the statement, on Friday, two days prior, some national union officers who voluntarily went to the police in response to the IGP’s invitation were unlawfully detained by the police for no apparent reason other than to covertly force the cancellation of a duly scheduled trade union program.

    “Nigerians should be aware that some forces are attempting to entirely grab control of the union’s leadership, with the goal of seizing the public sphere, silencing voices of dissent, and undermining democratic norms and ambitions in Nigeria.

    Read NURTW President Tajudeen Baruwa & 3 Others Detained by Nigerian Police

    The IGP is not a court, in violation of what the Constitution requires, so the NLC is perplexed as to how it has the power to intervene in union matters. We are certain that the IGP, as the head of law enforcement, is knowledgeable about how labor disputes should be settled in Nigeria in accordance with our laws, which are very clear on this matter. We wonder why he has avoided deferring to the law.What is happening demonstrates a further extension of the violent power play that the same folks used to forcibly capture control of the union that was legally established.

    download 1

    The NLC is baffled as to how the IGP has the authority to engage in trade union matters given that, contrary to what the Constitution mandates, neither is it a court. As the chief law enforcement official, we are confident that the IGP is familiar with how industrial disputes should be resolved in Nigeria under our laws, which are extremely explicit on this subject. We question why he has resisted submitting to the rule of law.”What is happening shows a further extension of the same violent power play at work, which was employed by the same individuals to forcibly seize control of the union that was created through the legal system. > Guardian

    For More News Visit Naijaecho

    Also Read Naira hits record low on the black market at N915 to the dollar.