BreakingNews 7/2/16 - Workers will defend selves if attacked, NLC warns Imo government

[ Masterweb Reports: Tony Akowe reports ] - The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned that it may  be forced to resort to self defence should its members continue to be brutalised by those it called militia groups sponsored by the Imo State government.


NLC President Ayuba Wabba accused the Imo government of sponsoring militia groups to intimidate and brutalise workers who are merely demanding their legitimate right.  Wabba, in a statement in Abuja, alleged that armed policemen opened fire on Medical doctors during a peaceful protest by the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association(NMA), leaving one of them  critically injured.


The congress asked the Police to bring to book the policeman that fired live bullets at the workers and others providing cover for the state- sponsored militia groups to unleash terror on the workers.


Wabba said the shooting of the doctor by an armed police man during the  protest “represents a big minus for the police force that claims credit for reform on the one hand and a rising degree of intolerance for alternative view point by the government of Owelle Rochas Okorocha.”


Describing the shooting as a bestial and despicable act in its entirety, the NLC President said: “even in wars without rules, medical doctors and other health workers enjoy the singular distinction of protection and preservation by combatants on either side.

“For the police to therefore fire live ammunition at peacefully-protesting doctors asking for their legitimate rights runs counter to any known rule of engagement.


“But the shooting of this medical doctor who is lying critically ill, is not an isolated case but part of a growing terror culture instituted by Governor Okorocha.


“In the past two weeks alone, his armed militia had beaten a Medical Doctor at Uboma Hospital to a state of coma as well as brutalised several others.


“His militia, given cover by the state Police Command, funded and armed by workers’ taxes, have embarked on a campaign of brutalisation and dehumanisation against workers as they (militia and police) forcefully sought to enforce the closure of 19 government parastatals whose sale or privatisation was announced on the radio the previous day. “The use of the armed police and militia against law-abiding workers by the governor of Imo State is unlawful, immoral and betrays the principles of democracy and should be resisted by all.


“We must warn that if no appropriate action is taken against the governor and his band of marauding militia and procured police personnel, in the well- known principle of self defence, we   shall respond in our own time. “Our calm and deference to the rule of law should not be mistaken as cowardice. Workers, like any other group of Nigerians, have rights guaranteed by the law.”


*Photo Caption - Governor Rochas Okorocha

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