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#EndSARS: Labour condemns FG’s approach to protests

Following the brutal killings of unarmed protesters in Lagos and other parts of the country, organised labour under the auspices of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers as well as Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PEGASSAN) has condemned the situation, saying the unfortunate incident fell short of any acceptable minimum global and civilized standards of managing peaceful protest in any democratic system.

 

According to the leadership of NUPENG, it said in a statement that it viewed gory images of Tuesday night (20/10/2020) shootings of peaceful #endsars protesters at Lekki toll gate with sadness, heavy hearts and deep concerns.

 

The statement jointly signed by the President and General Secretary, Comrade (Prince) Williams Akporeha and Comrade Afolabi Olawale respectively, said without any iota of doubt, “Our hearts bleed for our youths who lost their lives or got injured in that senseless action of the armed security agents of government.

 

“Our deepest thoughts and prayers are equally extended to their families as well. “We ask our members nationwide to stay calm and safe at their various workplaces and be on alert as the leadership reviews the situation. The nion expressed solidarity with oppressed Nigerians, urging them to remain constant for the union makes all strong.

 

On its part, (PENGASSAN) alao called on Nigerian government at all levels to hear the voice of its people, and put an end to maladministration, lack of accountability, mismanagement of resources, and police brutality. In a statement jointly signed by the union President, Festus Osifo and General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, the union told governments to initiate the much-needed reforms in all sectors of the country, keeping in mind that insecurity of any kind, be it political, economic, or physical, in any place or to anyone remains insecurity to and for everyone.

 

PENGASSAN said it stood in solidarity with all wellmeaning Nigerians, as people peacefully demand that the Nigerian government put an end to brutality in all and any form, by any organisation or sector. According to the statement, “the #EndSars protests transcend police brutality. It is a cry for accountability in government and reforms of the political and societal landscape.

 

“A Nigeria that works for all its citizens across all verticals of the society, is “all” we seek. We call on Nigerian Government at all levels to hear the voice of its people, put an end to maladministration, lack of accountability, mismanagement of resources, and police brutality.

 

“PEGASSAN, therefore, urges Nigerians and friends with “Goodwill” to maintain the peace, maturity, and coordination with which they have conducted these protests from the start in demand for a better country, which is their fundamental human right.

 

 

The union recalled that In the past few weeks, reports had come to light detailing the excessive use of force by police officers including unjustified shootings, severe beating, with most resulting in unwarranted deaths. “The inhumane treatment meted to Nigerians especially youths is evident. These reports show systemic abuse and reflect the fact that significant barriers to accountability exist, and therefore prevent erring officers from facing justice.

 

”At this time, we remember also the Nigerian people who have been molested, harassed, assaulted, and killed owing to the actions of officers in uniform who swore to protect and serve every Nigerian citizen; Their names will not be forgotten, and for the unnamed, we will continue to fight for justice and a better Nigeria for the future generation,” the union said.

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