This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Plateau Workers Defy Police, Begin Five-Day Protest

Local government workers in Plateau State under the aegis of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) Monday defied the order by the command and embarked on a one-week protest across the 17 local government areas in the state.

Addressing the workers outside the locked Jos North Council Secretariat, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Jos North, James Nyam, decried the attempt of the state government to coarse workers into resuming work, by threatening them with sack, when their demands had not been met.

He maintained that, "nobody will force us back to work without first addressing our demands."

Nyam said the workers have been reasonable enough, and have tried to resolve the crisis amicably "but government has been unrealistic by ordering people to work as we are military regime: government opened a register at the council secretariats, threatening that anyone that does not resume will be sacked. Now that we have all refused to resume in the 17 local governments we are waiting to see what will happen."

The workers, who all dressed in black attires, carried placards bearing: "Jang Is a Boko Haram" "House of Assembly Are You Asleep" "Jang Is The Pharoah Of Our Time".

Nyam urged the workers to conduct themselves peacefully throughout the period of the protest, but charged them to go back and re-enforce for subsequent days.

He and other union leaders led the protest march round the town.

THISDAY gathered that the protests cut across all the councils forcing the security personnel to shut the gates leading to the secretariats. Though it was peaceful, some shop owners forced to shut their shops for fear of complicity.

The state government had given the council workers an ultimatum of Monday to resume work or face sack. But rather than resuming, the workers resorted to protest, thereby daring the state government.

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