The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has declared its solidarity with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) following the ongoing face-off between the Kaduna State government and the labour union.
This is coming on the heels of the suspension of the five-day warning strike over anti-labour practices of the state government under Nasir el-Rufai.
Announcing the suspension on Wednesday, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the decision was to honour the invitation of the Federal Government to mediate in the dispute between labour and the Kaduna State Government on Thursday.
However, in a statement signed on Wednesday by its President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju and Secretary General, Comrade Felix Akingboye, MWUN warned that it would not hesitate to withdraw the services of its members in all ports, jetties, terminals and oil and gas platforms, should the Kaduna State Governor continue to threaten the lives of congress leaders and members.
The union said it was shocked that el-Rufai resorted to harassment and threat to the union leaders rather than seek ways to address the labour issues in the state.
“The leadership of the Maritime Workers of Nigeria (MWUN) has received with rude shock the Kaduna State Governor’s call for the arrest and prosecution of union leaders, who are on peaceful demonstration against maladministration.
“It is inconceivable that Mallam el-Rufai, who claimed to be one of the progressive governors, continues to intimidate, harass and even branded union leaders who are on peaceful protest as common criminals.
“Mallam el-Rufai who probably is still living in the Stone Age believes that he can use the instrumentality of state to suppress the rights of workers.
“Reports also have it that MallameEl-Rufai has organised his thugs to disrupts the peaceful demonstration of the congress and thus put the lives of the NLC leaders and members in grave danger.
“Maritime workers of Nigeria hereby warns that it shall not hesitate to withdraw the services of its members in all ports formations, jetties, terminals and oil and gas platforms, in solidarity with the congress, should el-Rufai continues to threaten the lives of congress leaders and members,” the statement reads.
The union called on the Federal Government, state governors, traditional leaders and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the governor to tow the path of due process.