The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday, asked Kogi State Government to pay backlog of salaries owed workers, instead of harassing and detaining protesting students of state-owned tertiary institutions.
President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement said: “The right to peaceful protest is guaranteed by the constitution, the highest law of the land and should not be abridged by a governor or anyone.
“Detained students should, therefore, be released immediately and unconditionally, else the entire labour movement with its civil society allies will mobilise against the state without further notice.
“We advise the Governor of Kogi State not to test the will or the resolve of the Nigerian workers to see through the task of preserving democracy in the state. We find it necessary to state that tertiary institutions owned by the Kogi State have been on strike for over six months over unpaid salaries.
“In the said period, the students took it upon themselves to mediate between the workers and the government.
“Whereas the workers were ready to make concessions, the government refused to shift ground. The impact of the strike on all the parties has been great, with the students worst hit.
“We find it saddening that instead of commending the students for their initiative and patriotism, the state government elected to criminalise the peaceful protest.
“We advise Governor Yahaya Bello to pay, without further delay, outstanding salaries and pensions, and negotiate with striking workers instead of intimidating or incarcerating students.”
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