Labour Unions Cries Out Over Killing of Innocent Protesters in Lagos
Some labour unions have condemned in totality the killing of innocent protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State on Tuesday night.
They are Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).
Mr Gbenga Ekundayo, TUC Chairman in Lagos State, in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos, described the action as uncivilised and crime against humanity.
“We are shocked at the scenes of maximum force by men in Nigerian Army uniforms currently on social media and the television.
“It is difficult to explain or understand the use of live ammunition on unarmed civilians; this is evil, callous and despicable,” he said.
Ekundayo urged the state Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to carry out a thorough investigation into the massacre with justice for the slain civilians in mind.
He also appealed to the youth to avoid a total collapse of law and order in the state.
“We can do more in an atmosphere of a peaceful, lawful and orderly society.
“This is a dark time of deep, sober reflections on the state of our dear Lagos State, especially youths,” he said.
Also, the NUPENG President, Mr Williams Akporeha, and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, extended their deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of the incident.
The duo urged members of the union nationwide to stay calm and safe in their various workplaces and be on alert as the union reviews the situation.
“The union viewed gory images of Oct. 20, 2020 shootings of peaceful #Endsars protesters at Lekki Toll Gate with sadness, heavy hearts and deep concerns.
“Without any iota of doubt, the unfortunate incident fall short of any acceptable minimum global and civilised standards of managing peaceful protest in any democratic system.
“Our hearts bleed for our youths who lost their lives or got injured in that senseless action of the armed security agents of government,” they said.
Commenting, PENGASSAN President, Mr Festus Osifo and Secretary-General, Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to provide adequate security for the protesters.
Osifo and Okugbawa said such should be in line with the democratic norms and to immediately produce the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
The duo said:
“Failure of which we will convene an emergency meeting of our National Executive Council (NEC) to review the happenings in the nation with the view of withdrawing our services nationwide.
“The President and Commander in Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces must seize this opportunity to provide uncommon leadership and stir the ship of this nation to safety.
“PENGASSAN stands with the youth at these trying times, as a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” the union leaders said.