Breaking: NULGE declares indefinite strike as police order unsealing of Plateau LGs

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Photo: Gov Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau.

Breaking: NULGE declares indefinite strike as police order unsealing of Plateau LGs

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Plateau State chapter, has declared an immediate indefinite strike across the entire seventeen local government areas of the state.

The union’s decision follows a statement by the police command in the state directing the unsealing of the local government secretariats for political officials of the councils, who were earlier suspended by the state House of Assembly on grounds of gross financial misconduct to resume office despite a pending court case.

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Reacting to the development in a statement issued in Jos, on Sunday, Comr. Yohanna Makwin, NULGE President, explained that the

said the strike was necessitated by the retrogressive tendencies with which the teeming workforce in the Local Governments have found themselves since the suspension of the former Local Government Chairmen and Councillors and the subsequent appointment of Transition Implementation Committee Chairmen in Plateau State.

According to the NULGE boss, the decision by the union to embark on the indefinite strike also became necessary in order not for innocent members of the union to be caught in the web of the police release and ensuing tension that it has triggered.

“While as a union we are not concerned with the political tussle over the matter, our concern is for the safety of our members (workers) whose safety and welfare is uncertain as the situation is unpredictable.

“We have therefore called this press conference in order to let Nigerians and concerned authorities know our predicament.

“Accordingly, as a union whose members’ salary is the least in the state, we shall not further risk the lives of our members as result of this tussle, hence the Union has resolved at an emergency state executive council meeting held today Sunday 27th August, 2023? for a total strike effective 12.00 midnight until this matter is resolved,” Makwin said.

The statement reads in full as follows:

TEXT OF A PRESS ADDRESS BY THE STATE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA UNION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, COM. YOHANNA ARANDONG MAKWIN, ON THE LINGERING CONTROVERSIAL SEALING AND UNSEALING OF 17 LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL SECRETARIATS HELD ON THE 27TH AUGUST, 2023.

Gentlemen of the press.

While we welcome you to this press conference which has become necessary in respect of the retrogressive tendencies with which the teeming workforce in the Local Governments have found itself since the suspension of the Local Government Chairmen and Councillors and the subsequent appointment of Transition Implementation Committee Chairmen in Plateau State.

You are all aware of the political scenario the suspension and appointments have generated leading to the Plateau State Police Command taking steps to forestall breakdown of law and order.

While the Police sealed off the 17 Local Government Council Secretariats preventing both workers and any of the disputed parties from entry, an order from a Bukuru Area court was made mandating the Police Authority to immediately unseal all the 17 Secretariats.

Concerted talks were held between the Police High Command in the State with critical stakeholders leading to the unsealing of the gates with a clear directive that only local Government workers and none of the elected or appointed Local Government officials would be allowed access.

This directive by the Police which was hinged on the respect for the court order by the Area court was received with great joy as workers who were eager for such a development resumed work in earnest.

This joy would only be shortlived when on the 27/08/2023 a press release by the Police Authority signed by its PPRO titled, ”Total Unsealing of 17 Local Government Secretariats and offices of the Local Government Chairmen in Plateau State” was issued.

Contents of the press release were at variance to the earlier directive where upon the press release is asking for the suspended Local Government Chairmen and Councillors to resume office on Monday 28/08/2023.

While as a union we are not concerned with the political tussle over the matter, our concern is for the safety of our members (workers) whose safety and welfare is uncertain as the situation is unpredictable.

We have therefore called this press conference in order to let Nigerians and concerned authorities know our predicament.

Accordingly, as a union whose members’ salary is the least in the state, we shall not further risk the lives of our members as result of this tussle, hence the Union has resolved at an emergency state executive council meeting held today Sunday 28/08/2023 for a total strike effective 12.00 midnight until this matter is resolved.

This decision has become necessary in order not for innocent members of the union to be caught in the web of the police release.

We thank you very much.

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