The strike action embarked upon by workers in Kogi state assumed a new turn on Monday as the leadership of the organised labour alleged threats to their lives.
This is coming as government threatened to sack and replace the striking workers if they refuse to return to their duty posts.
The labour leaders alleged that agents of government including armed thugs and “overzealous” security agents had been trailing them since the strike commenced last Friday.
The workers in a statement signed by Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Olakunle Faniyi and Kolawole James and Joint Public Services negotiating council counterpart, Comrade Isah Abubakar, said the aim of the people was to maim the labour leaders over their roles in the ongoing strike that had paralysed government activities in the state.
The workers said, “The organised labour noted that Kogi state government cannot be underrated when it comes to organising state violence drawing example from the recent activities of thugs that attacked the State House of Assembly and beat up Honourable Members of the House under the full presences of security agents”.
The statement called on the Commissioner of police Kogi State Command and the Director state Security services to watch their men closely to forestall the use of any of them by the state government to molest innocent and law abiding citizens of the state.
The NLC reiterated that the strike called by the organized labour has recorded 100 percent success, wondering how some credible newspapers (Nigerian Tribune not inclusive) would publish fake stories that the workers defied the directive of the union to go on strike.
The unions commended the workers for their 100 percent compliance to the strike directive and urged them to ignore the propaganda machine of the state government and any form of intimidation.
But the state government through the director general, media and publicity to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said government would soon decide the fate of striking workers as it warned that it would not pay workers who fail to turn-up for work.
His words, “Government is assessing the situation in the state as it relates to the ongoing industrial action called by labor union leaders in the state as it may afford the state the opportunity to correct the top-loaded civil service in the state.
“Government has done its best to satisfy the demands of Labour in the state, including the settlement of salary arrears met on assumption of office by the present administration.
The recent employment of lawyers at the Ministry of Justice in Kogi State has shown the dynamism young and willing people can inject into governance. Government may be left with no option than to fill vacancies left by striking workers.
“We urge workers to return to their duty posts and continue to make their demands. We will yield to demands that are tenable but there is no organization in the world that will kick against the electronic register.
“We are a listening government but we owe the Kogi people responsibility to protect their interests. How can a group of 21st Century workers say they don’t want their employees to know when they come to work and when they leave? How can a group of dynamic workers say they don’t want a pension scheme they can track on their phones and other devices?
“Continuous abstinence from work will be tantamount to abdication of duty and government will have no choice than to be decisive in order to save the system. We must protect our state from those who politic with the welfare of the people”.