Police seek ‘orderly protest’ in Plateau State

Workers pledge to join in Borno, Yobe

THE Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Dipo Ayeni, has warned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state to be cautious today as they respond to the national call for strike over the fuel subsidy removal.

This warning came on the heels of the vow by the CSOs in the state that despite the recent ban on procession and rallies, they would stage a protest today “against the inhuman, hasty and unwarranted removal of fuel subsidy”.

But Ayeni said his warning was necessary in view of the fragile security situation in the state.

In a statement issued at the weekend, he reminded the people of the state that the ban on public procession and rallies was still in force, adding that the police and other related-security agencies remain resolute in providing adequate security in the state.

Also, despite the emergency rule in some local councils across Borno and Yobe states, workers in these states have declared their readiness to join the indefinite strike against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.

The workers stated their resolve in statements yesterday by the Borno and Yobe states council chairmen of the labour unions, Titus Ali Abana and Lawan Ibrahim.

They called on the workers to stay at home as from today until directed otherwise.

The union leaders added: “We equally direct all banks and financial institutions, petrol stations, clubs and associations, NGOs, market women and traders, students and pupils and members of the civil society organisations to reject the new prices of fuel and resist any pump price above N65 a litre.

Secretary of the NLC, Borno State chapter, Mai Bukar Galtimari, said today’s strike would be “total and without any violence or intimidation”.

However, Galtimari assured that the protest would not defy the emergency rule in the two states and urged the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other security agencies not intimidate or harass members of the monitoring team of NLC in five council areas, including Maiduguri metropolis, where emergency rule is in place.

Spokesman of the Plateau CSOs, Mr. Gad Peter, said: “In as much as Mr. President had tried to reach out to a lot of stakeholders to discuss the issue, one singular promise he made was that the removal would take effect from April. For him to reverse it without even the courtesy of reaching out to Nigerians clearly shows that he is a man we cannot really trust. And it is unfortunate that you have a leader that you cannot trust”.


By Isa Abdulsalami (Jos) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) 

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