The leadership of the organised labour in Kogi State have alleged of threats to their lives over the ongoing strike by the state work force.
This was contained in a statement signed by secretaries of NLC, Olakunle Faniyi, Trade Union Congress Comrade Kolawole James and their Joint Public Services negotiating Council counterpart, Comrade Isah Abubakar.
The statement alleged that agents of the State Government made up of armed thugs and some overzealous security agents had been on their trail.
“The missions of these agents are either to maim or cause bodily harm on the leaders for their role in the successful strike action that has brought government business to a halt through the State,” the statement added.
It pointed out that the Government cannot be underated when it comes to staging State violence based on the recent activities of sponsored thugs that attacked the State House of Assembly when honorable members of the House were beaten black and blue under the full glare of security agents who looked the other way.
The statement drew the attention of the State commissioner of police and the director, Department of State Services, “to take steps that would forestall their operatives being used as pawn in the hands of the State Government to molest innocent and law abiding citizens of the State.”
“On the fake stories trending on some national dailies, the strike called by the organised labour has recorded 100% success wondering how some national dailies would publish fake stories circulated by Government agents that the workers defied the directives of the Union to embark on strike,” it noted.
The statement commended workers in the State for their 100% compliance with the strike directive as it urged them to ignore such propaganda machine of the State Government and any form of intimidation.
“We call on workers to remain prayerful, law abiding and wait for further directives from organised labour, the almighty God that has been sustaining many of our members without salaries for 21 month would still protect us through this turbulent period,” they added.
In a swift reaction the Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor of Kogi State Fanwo Kingsley said the allegations against government were spurious, unfounded, reckless and irresponsible.
“The statement was drafted in the language of their sponsors who have been attempting unsuccessfully to ring violence around the fingers of government.
“Let it be placed on record that government has zero tolerance for violence and all forms of criminalties. Government has expended resources to ensure criminalities have no place in the sociology of the state,” he said.
He pointed out that the Labour leaders were probably afraid of possible resistance from workers against their self-centered strike which has failed.
“Labour leaders should be condemned for deploying thugs to shut the gates of government offices and attacking workers who ignored their unpopular strike.
“We have nothing against labour and government position on work for wages has not changed.
“We shall do what is legally and administratively valid to ensure government business continues and for our people to continue to enjoy services for which civil servants are paid,” he added.
He assured civil servants of their security from the dangerous activities of thugs hired by leaders of labour unions.
“On reforms we stand. We will not succumb to the fight back from corrupt promoters of fraudulent practices in the civil service and their failed sponsors.
“Workers should return to work and stop making mockery of the highly respected activism for a better society.”