NLC, em­ploy­ers trade blame over vi­o­lent protest in La­gos

Daily Trust - - EKO TRUST - From Mo­hammed Shosanya, La­gos

The Com­rade Joe Ajearoled fac­tion of the Nige­ria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nige­ria Em­ploy­ers’ Con­sul­ta­tive As­so­ci­a­tion (NECA) are now trad­ing blames over last Fri­day’s vi­o­lent protest which dis­rupted the lat­ter’s 59th An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing (AGM) and left many in­jured as they scam­pered for safety.

The Ajearo group had pick­eted NECA to regis­ter its dis­plea­sure over the in­sti­tu­tion’s al­leged sup­port for mass sack by banks and its ex­clu­sion from di­a­logue stop­ping pick­et­ing of the af­fected banks.

The group in a state­ment at the week­end, ac­cused the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of NECA, Mr.Oluse­gun Oshi­nowo of hir­ing armed thugs who beat up jour­nal­ists in­flict­ing var­i­ous de­grees of in­juries on work­ers and on­look­ers and stole var­i­ous items in­clud­ing me­dia cam­eras, phones, money and other per­sonal be­long­ings.

‘’We are wor­ried and all Nige­ri­ans should be wor­ried that NECA will re­sort to the use of thug­gery and vi­o­lence rather than the peace­ful process as en­shrined in our laws and rules of en­gage­ment es­pe­cially when gov­er­nance frame­work is well laid out within the na­tion’s and in­ter­na­tional in­dus­trial re­la­tions space.’’

But, Oshi­nowo said his or­ga­ni­za­tion is law abid­ing and would not re­sort to law­less­ness to dis­lodge law­less­ness, adding that the de­vel­op­ment in­formed the as­so­ci­a­tion’s de­ci­sion to in­vite se­cu­rity agen­cies to pro­tect the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s work­ers and premises when he got wind of the Joe Ajaero fac­tion’s plan to picket the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

He said in-fight­ing among hood­lums and thugs hired by Ajaero over dis­tri­bu­tion of money paid them to carry out the il­le­gal picket was re­spon­si­ble for the fra­cas.

Ac­cord­ing to him, an­other set of pro Ajaero’s hired hood­lums who felt left out of the largesse, af­ter an ini­tial mo­bil­i­sa­tion, had then de­cided to un­der­mine the il­le­gal pick­et­ing.

He said there was a counter ac­tion by the le­gal and recog­nised NLC to stop Ajaero from fur­ther act­ing in the name of the NLC and parad­ing him­self its pres­i­dent.

‘’These are all pos­si­ble leads as we wel­come the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­ity to in­ves­ti­gate the cause of this may­hem, which or­di­nar­ily would not have oc­curred if Ajaero had re­spected the in­dus­trial re­la­tions laws of Nige­ria and the law en­force­ment agen­cies pre­sent in NECA had acted de­ci­sively by dis­pers­ing the pick­eters who were very un­ruly and in fact paral­ysed ve­hic­u­lar and hu­man move­ment in the en­tire Ikeja neigh­bour­hood.

‘’We again af­firm that trade union­ism and union im­mu­nity is not a li­cense for any­one to brazenly tram­ple on the rights of other eco­nomic ac­tors and breach pub­lic or­der,” he said.

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