Labour suspends planned protest over police presence

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Rivers State have suspended their planned protest over the continued police blockade at local government area secretariats.

Chairmen of the labour centres said the suspension followed reports of plans by some individuals to incite violence under the guise of being labour members.

At a joint press briefing in Port Harcourt on Sunday, NLC Chairman Alex Agwanwor urged the police to apprehend anyone who protests in the unions’ name on Monday.

He advised Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) members who initially proposed the protest to wait for further directives from the labour centres.

The NLC Chairman and his TUC counterpart, Ikechukwu Onyefuru, also dismissed accusations from former local government chairmen that state labour leaders are partisan.

The unions had on Friday asked the police, who took taken over local government secretariats in the state, to vacate the council premises.

The Friday meeting addressed three key issues: the constitution and inauguration of Caretaker Committees in the 23 local government areas, the call by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for a state of emergency in the state, and the police takeover of council secretariats.

The NLC boss in the state acknowledged the police efforts to maintain peace but stated that denying workers access to their offices was a breach of their rights.

He urged the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to instruct the Rivers State Commissioner of Police to grant workers access to their offices to carry out their legitimate duties.

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The labour groups warned that if their appeal was ignored, they would mobilise their members to reclaim their offices.

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