HE Dr Dahaltu S Tafida
High Commissioner for the Federal Republic of Nigeria
9 Northumberland Avenue
Dear High Commissioner
Killing of Demonstrators
On behalf of the TUC General Council, I should like to express our strong condemnation of the indiscriminate killing of demonstrators by the Nigerian security forces on 9 January 2012 during the industrial action organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Nigerian Trades Union Congress and other civil society organisations over the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy.
We understand that several people were killed when the police fire on unarmed civilians participating in peaceful protests in Kano, Lagos and Benin against the high cost of living aggravated by the recent withdrawal of the fuel subsidy. We have also learnt that a number of demonstrators have been seriously injured in the incidents concerned.
The right to peaceful assembly and protest forms part of democratic dispensation and is guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution. The disruption of peaceful demonstrations by violent means is a gross violation of the ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Furthermore, these incidents will, no doubt, tarnish the image of your country and further exacerbate the current tension, making national dialogue and reconciliation even more difficult.
We urge you to pass on our deep concern over the incidents to your Government, and use your influence with the authorities to ensure that all Nigerians are allowed to exercise their democratic rights without interference from the State and that negotiations with organised labour and other civil society actors resume forthwith to resolve the current crisis.
Issued: 11 January, 2012