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STRIKE: Govt after our lives, Kogi labour leaders cry out

By Boluwaji Obahopo

LOKOJA—The Leadership of organized Labour in Kogi State has alleged threats to their lives from the state government over the ongoing strike by the state workforce.

The labour leaders said the state government was using thugs, police and DSS officials to harass their members, while also looking for ways to harm them.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

But the state government in a swift reaction, dismissed the allegation as false, baseless and unfounded, saying it was uncalled for, and that a no work, no pay rule would soon be introduced, if the strike persists.

The workers’ allegation was contained in the labour bulletin issued on Sunday, signed by the State Secretaries of NLC, Trade Union Congress and Joint Public Services Negotiating Council, Olakunle Faniyji, Kolawole James, and Isah Abubakar respectively.

The statement read:  “Agents of the state government, comprising armed thugs and some over zealous security agents, are on the trail of labour leaders. The mission of these agents are either to maim or cause bodily harm to the leaders for their role in the successful strike that has paralyzed government business through out the state.

“Kogi State government cannot be underrated when it comes to organizing state violence, drawing examples from the recent activities of thugs that attacked the State House of Assembly and beat up members of the House under the full presence of security agents.”

Labour called on the state Commissioner of Police and Director, State Security Services, to watch their men closely to stop them from being used by the state Government to molest the labour leaders and members.

Meanwhile, Kogi State government has described as uncalled for allegations from labour of threats to their lives, saying it was false, baseless, unfounded and out to smear  its image.

The government also warned that it  would not pay workers who failed to turn up for work, saying paying them was against the interest of the people.

Director General, Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo, who reacted on behalf of government, said:  “Government is dealing directly with its employees to move the state forward. Raising false alarm that government is threatening Labour leaders is uncalled for. It is false and malicious.

‘’We have zero tolerance for corruption. Any Labour leaders whose interest is politics should resign honourably, join partisan politics and wait till 2019.”

 


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