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Benue labour leader assassinated

By Victor Ahiuma-Young
BENUE State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Comrade Tony Udu, has been assassinated by unknown gunmen.

Udu was said to have been murdered in his residence,  Friday, July 24 by yet-to-be-identified gunmen believed to be hired assassins.

A statement signed by the President-General and Secretary-General of TUC, Comrade Peter Esele and Chief John Kolawole, respec-tively, called on the newly appointed Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ogbonnaya Onovo, to do everything within his power to bring to book the perpetra-tors of the heinous crime.

The statement reads in part: “TUC, hereby, express great concern over the high rate of assassination and politically-motivated murder of helpless Nigerians occasioned by the porous state of our security system, the latest of which is the gruesome murder of Comrade Tony Udu, TUC Benue State Council Chairman in his house on Friday, 24 July 2009, by unidentified gunmen.

“A great and committed trade unionist, Comrade Udu who was cut short at his prime, was a strong member of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCN), a strong affiliate of the congress. He was a leading unionist in Benue State trade union movement who lead workers in the state to protest against unfavourable state policies.

That the assassination came on a day the Federal Government announced the appointment of Ogbonnaya Onovo, as the nation’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP) shows the enormous task before the new Police helmsman.

“We, therefore, demand immediate investigation to unravel the motives and those behind this dastardly act.”
“TUC recalls the antecedent of the new IGP when he was the chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),and urge him to use the same prowess to find Udu’ killers. The success of this case will also go a long way to reassure Nigerians on the ability of Onovo and his men to fight the high crime rate all over the country.

Nigerians are tired of the inactive nature of the police in unravelling the numerous killings that took place in the last 10 years of the nation’s return to democracy as every of such case  is yet to  be concluded.

We also call on Onovo to purge the Nigerian Police and remove officers and men who have dented the image of the police.

Nigerians are waiting to see the emergence of a truly professionalized police that will respect citizen’s rights as well as protect it from criminals masquerading as loyal and responsible citizens.”


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