BY AYODELE ABERE in Ado Ekiti•
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ekiti State chapter, Ade Adesanmi, has warned security agencies to desist from harassing and intimidating its members, saying the union would stand against such acts if noticed again.
Adesanmi added that security agencies have the right to invite members for questioning, but explained that members should not be ridiculed for political gains.
He said this in reaction to the arrests of two teachers at Olaoluwa Muslims Secondary School in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday by men of the Department of State Services (DSS) over alleged scam connected with Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
Adesanmi added: “We are saying without mincing words that the political gladiators in Ekiti should stop intimidating our members.
Information at our disposal indicated that some of our members would be arrested and we are saying government agencies reserves the right to invite members for interaction but indiscriminate arrest and intimidation is what the Labour in Ekiti State stand against.
Adesanmi urged workers in to go out and exercise their civic rights during next Saturday’s governorship poll and vote according to their conscience.
Adesanmi disclosed that all the candidates engaged by the workers had what it takes to lead the state as governor, adding that workers should mobilise adequately and ready to exercise their civic responsibility by voting for candidate of their choice.
He said: “Let me say without mincing words that Ekiti State is blessed with a lot of potential, there is none of the candidates that interacted with us that cannot govern the state, hence labour is saying that workers should go out and mobilise their dependants to vote according to their conscience.
“Let me reemphasise here that NLC is apolitical, hence we enjoin all workers to come out and fulfil our civic responsibilities by voting for the candidate of their choice.”
While noting that not all candidates honoured the union’s invitation for interactive sessions, Adesanmi thanked those that turned up for the event for seeing workers as critical stakeholders in the development of the state.
The labour boss said the interactive session with candidates afforded them the chance to critique their manifesto as it addressed the plight of workers and presented the union’s position paper on expectations of workers.
He further reiterated that the labour union would give whoever wins the election three months to clear backlog of salaries, otherwise the workers would mobilise against such government.
“However, it was made clear to the candidates that peradventure, the present administration cannot clear all the arrears of salaries, pension and gratuity, labour will give the incoming administration just three months to clears the backlog of salaries and pension and six months to reduce the gratuity owed appreciably, otherwise, workers will be led against the government,” he said.