The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has slammed the Oyo state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, for allegedly intimidating labour leaders in the state.
NLC also accused the Governor of arresting and harassing protesting workers in the state.
Reports say the police arrested leaders of the Oyo state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) while they were protesting the government’s plan to privatise public schools in the state.
The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba said the decision to privatise the public schools is unjust, adding that the children of the poor will be not be able to have access to education if the plan falls through.
Wabba also said “These public schools were built with the blood and sweat of the people and not a few, including Your Excellency and members of your cabinet, were grand beneficiaries of this public school system.
“To auction out these schools, lock, stock and barrel, to the highest bidders offends moral decency and social justice as it denies generations of the children of the poor access to education guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“History, we dare say, will be reluctant to forgive you, if you impose it on the people using garrison powers.”
The NLC President said the Governor’s decision to privatise the public schools without consulting the people is a breach of trust.
Adding that “We wish to express our dismay at the harassment, arrest and detention of our members for peacefully protesting against government’s policy of giving away public schools to individuals or organisations in the guise of Public-Private Partnership.
“Please do permit us to state that the right to peaceful protest against a wrong is guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Labour Laws, ILO Conventions to which Nigeria is signatory, and Human Rights Laws and cannot be abridged by government.”
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has also condemned the detention of the labour leaders.
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