…Says we’ve dared, won worst tyrants in the past
Nigerian workers under the auspices of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have vowed to make true its promise of taking to the streets to confront and engage the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, for trampling on the rights of its members in the state even as the latter has threatened to deal with them, if they dared to protest on Tuesday, March 5.
However, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said that despite the threat by the governor, the Congress is determined to defend the interests of workers in Ogun State who have been trampled on the ground, adding that “those who are down need fear no fall”.
While condemning the governor for descending so low into the dunghill of violent utterances in order to cow workers, Wabba noted that the confidence of the workers stems from the protection and guarantees provided by Section 40 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution which gives workers and indeed all Nigerians the freedom to peaceful assembly and protest.
Wabba said all that the law requires of them is to inform the Police and relevant security agencies which they have done and are ready to peacefully protest the grievous mistreatment of workers in the hands of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
“The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has taken cognizance of a statement credited to the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, where he threatened to disgrace the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress if the Congress insists on embarking on a protest scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in Ogun State. This was reported by Premium Times on 1st March 2019 and other platforms.
“We have taken note of the threat by Governor Ibikunle Amosun but we want to assure him that his threats will not deter us from defending the interest of workers in Ogun State whose rights he has been trampling upon especially on the following issues: the non-remittance of statutory deductions from workers’ salaries for pensions, cooperative, ileya, Christmas, etc, over a period of one hundred and five (105) months;
“The non-utilisation of the last tranche of the Paris Club refund for the payment of gratuity for both state and local government workers since 2013 despite signing a collective bargaining agreement with organised labour in Ogun State;
“The refusal to pay workers at the Tai Solarin College of Education salary arrears that has accumulated for the past ten years and now grosses to a financial liability of about N9 billion; and to make matters worse, Governor Amosun sacked the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress from his employment for standing firm in the defence of the rights of workers in Ogun State,” the Congress said.
Wabba noted that the issues highlighted are too grievous to be swept under the carpet, hence, the decision of the 12th National Delegates Conference of the NLC to confront and engage Governor Amosun which he said will be carried out to the letter on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.
“It is unfortunate that as a sitting Governor and a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Governor Ibikunle Amosun shows no respect for the rule of law and could descend into the dunghill of violent utterances in order to cow workers. We want to warn Governor Amosun that we will hold him personally responsible for any harm that comes to any worker during our protest on March 5, 2019.
“We wish to alert our security agencies to Governor Amosun’s resort to violent threats. We assure him that his immunity cover will soon be removed and he must be ready to answer for his crimes against workers. The NLC can assure Ibikunle Amosun that we will continue to engage him even after he would have been sworn in as a Senator in Abuja.
“We wish to state that we unequivocally stand with the press statement recently released by our state council on this issue. We urge all our state councils especially those from the contiguous states to Ogun State – Lagos, Oyo, Osun states who are already fully mobilized for the protest not to be sacred one bit by the threats by Governor Ibikunle Amosun. We had dared and won worse tyrants!”
Furthermore, Wabba advised Mr. President to distance himself from characters such as Governor Amosun who has shown to be “unrepentantly arrogant, unnecessarily difficult, completely dishonest and totally unreliable, adding that on about four occasions, Governor Amosun promised to address the demands of the workers but failed to honour his promises.
“Even the agreement he signed with workers to use the last tranche of the Paris Club Refund to clear arrears of indebtedness to workers, he is yet to fulfill,” Wabba said.