Nigeria: We will hold presidency accountable for actions of its thugs

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Solidarity with Nigerian workers

Report from Nigeria

10 January 2012

By Owei Lakemfa, NLC Acting General Secretary and John Kolawole, TUC Secretary General

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) congratulate the Nigerian masses for a second successful day of strikes, rallies and mass protests. The reports from across the country show that Nigerians remain resolute in their resolve that the increase in the price of PMS (petrol) of between N141 and N220 must be reversed to N65.

The Presidency should take a cue from this mass anger of Nigerians by reversing its anti-people policy on fuel.

By their actions in the past few days, Nigerians have left the Presidency and the world in no doubt that sovereignty belongs to them and that they intend to reclaim their country.

The Presidency's armed thugs

The Labour Movement alerts the country and the world at large that the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has imported armed thugs into Abuja to attack the anti-fuel price hike protesters.

In a Mubarak-style response to the peoples' protests, the Jonathan administration brought into Abuja, thugs armed with various weapons including guns. Those of them who made an appearance on Abuja streets yesterday afternoon were former militants and students from Nasarawa Polytechnic who operated under the banner of 'PDP Transformation Movement'.

Clearly, the Presidency had intended to use the police and army to carry out a planned attacks on peaceful protesters but due to the outcry over previous murders, it has opted to use armed thugs. Labour warns the Presidency that it will be held responsible for whatever atrocities these thugs commit. If the thugs attack the anti fuel price hike protesters, the Labour Movement will be compelled to ask all citizens to march on Abuja and take the city.

The Jonathan Presidency must wake up to the reality that Nigerians in their tens of millions have spoken out across the country against the fuel price hike and it will do well to listen to the voice of the people.

The nation will recall that the Presidency using a former militant as front, had on Friday January 6, 2012 employed thugs to invade the NLC headquarters.

With the turmoil in the country created by the Presidency's insensitive hike in fuel prices, the Jonathan administration has become the greatest danger to democracy in Nigeria and the country's well being.

The anti-fuel price hike murders

The country, tragically has witnessed the murder of at least eight unarmed civilians in the course of the protests against fuel price hikes.

The Labour Movement has decided to lodge a formal complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Jonathan and Inspector General, Affiz Ringim for the murder of the protesters in the country.

We want to thank specifically workers and artisans, market men and women, professional organizations, especially the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Civil Society Organisations, the unemployed, the physically challenged, students and youths, and religions leaders who have played fundamental roles in the strikes and mass protests.

We are also appreciative of the presence of serving and former members of the House of Representatives at the rallies.

The Labour Movement is confident that a united people cannot be divided. We call on Nigerians to continue the strikes, rallies and protests tomorrow Wednesday January 11, 2012 and subsequent days until the Jonathan government listens to the voice of the Nigerian People.

Briefing
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