Zamfara killing: NLC charges FG on responsibility, encourages soldiers

...prioritise creation of decent jobs

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed displeasure and disappointment over the recent massacre of 200 Nigerians in Zamfara State, and called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of its responsibility, fish-out those responsible and ensure they face the wrath of the law.

NLC, in a press statement signed by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday, enjoined government to prioritise creation of decent jobs for Nigerian youths to prevent their availability for criminal engagements.

“Government should prioritise the creation of decent jobs for our youths, extension of social security cover to vulnerable Nigerians, promotion of the rule of law and institutionalisation of good governance. The foregoing issues are the fulcrum of the Charter of Demands by Nigerian workers.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress condemns this visitation of evil on innocent Nigerians in the New Year. We condemn the wickedness and inhumanity of terrorists who seek to make death and destruction the new normal for millions of Nigerians especially those in the North East and North West.

“There are no words to describe the iniquitous visitation of such barbarism on a defenceless civilian population. Eye witness account put the number of persons killed at about 200 while official sources put the casualty toll at 58. Conservative estimates put the number of displaced persons, mostly the poor, from the affected communities at about 10,000.

“The Congress wishes to condole with the families of the bereaved. We are not unaware that many of the affected families had lost loved ones in earlier attacks. This makes their current grief even more painful. The NLC also extends heartfelt empathy to hundreds of families that are currently displaced as a result of the recent attack.

“We understand that the gruesome massacre in the affected villages came on the heels of military bombardment against terrorist elements and camps in parts of Zamfara State and adjourning locations. That the fleeing terrorists could turn on innocent villagers speak volumes of the darkness and desperation in their hearts.

“It is the expectation of the Congress that our political leaders should not get used to ‘condemning and condoling’ after the perpetration of such satanic attacks. The Federal Government must take very drastic steps to bring a firm closure to the current ogre of bloodletting, destruction of property and displacement of Nigerians,” the statement read.

The NLC also commended the efforts of soldiers and the armed forces in ending the menace of terrorism in the country.

“We commend the gallantry and sacrifice of our soldiers and other armed services personnel in the current war against terrorists. We ask that our military step up on the onslaught against criminal elements who have vowed to make life a living hell for innocent Nigerians. The deployment of proactive intelligence, active surveillance and hi-tech weaponry would be useful in combating and conquering the new strain of barbarism and desperation being exhibited by the terrorists.

“Also, we urge that strong military presence be established to protect vulnerable villages especially after bombardments. We demand rapid response to crisis situations by our security forces. That terrorists went on a bloody prowl for nearly 48 hours unchecked does not speak well of the emergency capabilities of our security system. The way security forces respond to emergency situations is a measure of the premium placed on the lives of Nigerians – whether 58 or 200.”

“We call on our security agents to intensify manhunt for the criminal elements and terrorists that perpetrated the recent pogrom in Anka and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas of Zamfara and either bring them to justice or take justice to them. We also call on the relevant agencies of government to ensure that relief materials are immediately dispatched to families displaced by this attack.

“Finally, the findings from the recent NLC Security Summit and Social Protection Roundtable show that bombs and bullets alone will not win the war on terrorism and secure peace. We urge government at all levels to fix the social dislocations at the root of deteriorating security situation in our country,” the NLC said.

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