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‘Sowore is just one of several Nigerians dissatisfied with govt, they have right to protest’



NLC vows to ensure new minimum wage is implemented

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday lashed at the Federal Government on the detention of the leader of #RevolutionNow protesters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.

It also sought immediate release of the protesters that were arrested in the protest that took place on Monday.

In a statement by its General Secretary, Mr. Peter Ozo-Eson, on Wednesday, NLC said Nigeria’s constitution was totally against the security men’s actions of attacking and detaining the protesters who were not violent in their demonstration.

It said peaceful protests against bad governance or perceived anti-people government policies were one of the critical fundamental rights towards the entrenchment and growth of democracy.

The statement also added that the continued detention of Sowore by the men of Department of State Services (DSS) was unconstitutional as his actions didn’t depict any threat to Nigeria’s democracy.

“He was just one out of several Nigerians demanding good governance being the minimum demand citizens can make from a government they democratically elected. Mr. Sowore and other protesters were not carrying arms against the state and we therefore demand their immediate release unconditionally,” the statement read.

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Going forward, NLC said the violent attacks on protesters by security forces “was a total violation of the fundamental rights of not just the protesters but all Nigerian citizens as guaranteed by the constitution as well as various reported judgements of our courts.

“It is with deep consternation that we view the attacks and arrests of peaceful protesters in some parts of the country by security agencies and military personnel on Monday during a protest by some Nigerians in Lagos, Osogbo, Ibadan, Abuja and other cities.

“There is nowhere in our constitution or laws that the security agencies are empowered to so brazenly attack peaceful protests and hound its organisers into detention as the right to peaceful protests, assembly and association, is fully guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under sections 39 and 40.

“Besides, peaceful protests against bad governance or perceived anti-people government policies is one of the critical fundamental rights that expands the entrenchment and growth of democracy and our security agencies must not be allowed to continue to portray themselves as anti-democracy forces as the Monday attacks so clearly demonstrated,” it stated.

NLC is much more worrisome that soldiers were deployed to attack protesters, especially in Lagos, adding that “soldiers have no role whatsoever in the management of civil protest and they must be called to order by the federal government.”

“We also view the midnight arrest of one of the organisers of the protests, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, as an affront to his

fundamental rights as well as our collective rights to freedom of expression and association as enshrined in all the international and national instruments that strengthens democracy,” NLC added.


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