Days before the governorship and State House of Assembly elections, a showdown with the labour union is less than ideal particularly for a governor who is desperate for the people to elect his prefered candidate to office.
This is exactly the position the governor of the Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun found himself. The state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has planned to hold a statewide rally against the governor stating that the protest was to bring to light Amosun’s shoddy treatment of workers in the state.
However, rather than try to take a palliative approach and try to reason with the members of the organised labour, Amosun decided to beat the drums of war instead, threatening to disgrace the members of the NLC in the state instead.
This did not go down well with the parent body of the group who had dared the governor to do his worst when the workers take to the street on Wednesday.
Amosun who was recently elected a Senator is a close friend of President Buhari and his personal relationship with the President had made him cause a bit of friction with members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) both in the state and at the national level. This was even more escalated when he kicked against the party preferred candidate for the post of governor and also vowed to work for the candidate of another party who happens to be his preferred man.
In a statement made available to reporters, the President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba warned the NLC, stressing that if harm came to any member of the labour union during Tuesday’s protest, the governor will be held responsible.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress has taken note of the threat by Governor Ibikunle Amosun but we want to assure him that his threats will not deter us from defending the interest of workers in Ogun State whose rights he has been trampling upon.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that even Amosun’s party has complained of his penchant to violently disgrace other spheres of leadership outside his control and sometimes beyond him,” Wabba said.
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“We are not unmindful of the fact that Governor Amosun’s hostility to Nigerian workers is primarily a transfer of aggression.
“It is unfortunate that as a sitting Governor and a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Governor Ibikunle Amosun shows no respect for the rule of law and could descend into the dunghill of violent utterances in order to co-workers.
“We want to warn Governor Amosun that we will hold him personally responsible for any harm that comes to any worker during our protest on March 5, 2019,” the NLC President added.
“All that the law requires us to do is to inform the Police and relevant security agencies. This we have done. We are ready to peacefully protest the grievous mistreatment by our workers in the hands of Governor Ibikunle Amosun on 5th March 2019.
“We want to remind Governor Amosun that he has already trampled workers on the ground and those who down need fear no fall. We wish to alert our security agencies to Governor Amosun’s resort to violent threats.
“We assure him that his immunity cover will soon be removed and he must be ready to answer for his crimes against workers.
“The NLC can assure Ibikunle Amosun that we will continue to engage him even after he would have been sworn in as a Senator in Abuja,” he continued.
“We wish to state that we unequivocally stand with the press statement recently released by our state council on this issue.
“We urge all our state councils especially those from the contiguous states to Ogun State – Lagos, Oyo, Osun states who are already fully mobilized for the protest not to be sacred one bit by the threats by Governor Ibikunle Amosun. We had dared and won worse tyrants!” Wabba concluded.
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