The Police Command in Nasarawa State said it did not disrupt the strike embarked upon by members of the state chapter of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) on Monday in Lafia.
The command’s Spokesman, DSP Idrissu Kennedy, told journalists that the command could not have disrupted the strike because the workers had the right to demand for a better welfare.
“Workers have right to demand for better entitlements but what the police was against was the locking of offices at the high court premises by the workers.
“Strike does not empower them to lock up and take over government property such as offices.
“There are different methods in which they can attain that goal but that doesn’t mean they should take over the offices.
“That is a government property.
“They can continue with their strike but taking over the court premises is amounting to something else. It is out of place. That is what we are trying to correct,” Kennedy said.
Mr. Jimoh Musa, Chairman of the union, told newsmen that the action of the police was to intimidate the workers.
“The policemen came in large numbers, trying to intimidate us that we don’t have right to do what we were doing.
“We told them that we have the right and that we embarked on strike because our rights were being infringed upon.
“The police officers threatened to kick us out of the court premises by any means if we refused to open the gates to the premises and leave the place.
“That is a threat to our lives. If an Area Commander can come to a lawful gathering and intimidate us, it is not acceptable to us.
“We don’t want guns but we say no to it. If the commander likes, he should kill us,” Musa said.
He said the ongoing strike had been peaceful and wondered why the police would want to disrupt it.
Besides, Musa said negotiations between the management and the workers were ongoing, adding that the workers needed to be available for update on the outcome of the negotiations.
Workers decided on Feb. 16 to embark on an indefinite strike following the alleged refusal of the state judiciary to meet their demands.
The workers are demanding for the conversion or promotion of workers who went for further studies legitimately in the past four years to new cadre.
They are also demanding for explanation to the alleged reduction of workers’ salaries without any clear explanations from the management, among others.