Rivers Government, yesterday, faulted a planned action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), scheduled for tomorrow.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Zacchaeus Adangor, who, in a statement, condemned an audio message being circulated on the social media and credited to the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the NLC president is a third defendant in a suit pending before the National Industrial Court, Lagos (sitting as a vacation court).
According to him, Wabba in the audio message made a number of spurious, unfounded and malicious allegations in relation to the proceedings in the suit with a view to ridiculing the judicial process and impugning the authority and integrity of the court.
Regardless, the organised labour has said Governor Nyesom Wike should be held responsible should any harm come to any of the workers as they embark on the peaceful protest tomorrow.
This is even as it alleged to have received credible information that the governor has mobilised two local governments around Port Harcourt metropolis to engage armed thugs who would be used to unleash violence on workers during the scheduled protest.
Wabba, in a statement, yesterday, said any attempt to disrupt the workers rally tomorrow would not only be another frontal attack against the constitution by Wike but would also be a continuation of governor’s reign of impunity and ill-conceived ploy to exterminate organised labour in Rivers State.
“The right to peaceful assembly and protest is not just a constitutional right as provided for and guaranteed by Section 40 of the constitution, but also a fundamental universal human rights protected by international treaties signed by Nigeria.
“We wish to send a final warning that in the event that any harm comes to any worker tomorrow, Nigerian workers and the international labour community would hold him personally to account, after all, he remains the chief security officer of the state,” he said.
The labour leader said instead of wasting the state resources in the prosecution of a needless war against innocent workers, it urged Governor Wike to commit his time and the state resources to attend to the industrial concerns of the workers in Rivers.
According to him, these concerns include the payment of outstanding salary arrears he deliberately refused to pay workers, especially teachers and healthcare workers, promotion arrears since 2015, payment of pension and gratuity to retired workers since 2015 and issuance of official circular to effect the payment of the new national minimum wage.
Wabba said the governor should also see to the conclusion of the negotiation for consequential wages adjustment arising from the new national minimum wage.