Posted by News Express | 17 December 2012 | 3,213 times
The industrial action embarked upon by workers in Plateau State, North-Central Nigeria, took an unexpected turn early this afternoon when security operatives sent to force the workers back to work allegedly resorted to the use of live bullets.
According to Comrade Denja Yaqub, an Assistant Secretary at the NLC headquarters in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, “Jonah Jang’s agents and policemen are currently bombarding workers with tear gas & live bullets at the Secretariat of Nigeria Labour Congress in Jos, Plateau State, North Central Nigeria.”
Yaqub blamed Chris Olakpe, the new Police Commissioner, for the development, saying that he “is well known as an anti workers, and violence happy police officer. He acted in similar manners as Deputy Police Commissioner in Anambra when Mbadinuju was Governor.” There was no immediate reaction from the police and News Express cannot say if there are casualties.
News Express had on Dec. 4 reported that the battle-line had “become drawn between Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State and Nigerian workers, who have vowed to teach him a bitter lesson over his stubborn refusal to make peace with Local Government Council workers and primary school teachers in the state.”
Jang, a retired Air Force officer, had on Dec. 3 declared the workers sacked, saying they had crossed the line by refusing his entreaties to end their six-month strike. He however only ended up touching the eye balls of the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which waded in on the side of Plateau workers.
The NLC national leadership and that of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had on Nov. 27, given Jang a 10-day ultimatum to resolve the crisis or face a shutdown of the state civil service. Similarly, members of the Plateau State House of Assembly urged Jang to pay the striking workers or face the wrath of the Assembly.
However, the governor, who is now known as the Pharaoh of Plateau, stuck to his guns and went ahead to plan a trip to Germany with his family as the crisis raged.
•Photo: NLC chief Denja Yaqub has raised an alarm about the unexpected turn of events.
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