The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has condemned the shooting of workers by the police during a joint visit of the leadership of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to Governor Umaru Tanko al-Makura of Nasarawa State, on Friday.
The shooting, allegedly carried out by the police stationed at the gate of the Government House, reportedly left a worker dead and injured two others.
The statement signed by TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the acting Secretary General, Comrade Simeso Amachree, read: “We are distraught that labour leaders who were in the state to dialogue with the state government over the unlawful 50 per cent cut in salaries of workers in the state were confronted with such dastardly act. We are especially shocked that the incident happened while the new Commissioner of Police in the state was also there visiting the governor.
“It was certainly uncalled for because the workers were unarmed and their protest was very legitimate and peaceful. There is absolutely no reason bullets should be employed to intimidate and cow workers from insisting on their fundamental rights.”
The statement observed that “it is simply inexcusable for the police to employ maximum force against innocent workers who, apart from not being paid promptly, had their salaries unlawfully cut by 50 per cent. Security operatives are supposed to protect life not waste same.”
It added: “While we urge the workers in the state to remain calm and law-abiding, we also call on the Inspector General of Police to ensure that the trigger-happy officer or officers responsible for the shootings are promptly disengaged from the Nigeria Police Force and fully prosecuted.”
“We want to see justice done in this matter. Unless this is done within the next few days, Nigerian workers shall not hesitate to embark on indefinite nationwide protest against police brutality. Meanwhile we warn the Nasarawa State Government to immediately pay it’s workers their full salaries and other entitlements, or be ready for a total industrial face-off.”