Labour condemns military, Shiite confrontation

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ORGANISED labour, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), have expressed their disappointment over the confrontation between military and Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (MIN), even as reminded that two wrongs cannot make a right.
The President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and who made his anger over the violence known in a statement stated that the violence between MIN and the Nigerian Army is getting addictive, frequent and avoidably bloody and wasteful.
Calling on the two sides to stop addictive violence, NLC stated that the latest violence was most condemnable, saying “For a country that has witnessed and still coping with senseless violence with attendant mass deaths especially in the North east, this is one additional violence most condemnable.”
While expressing their sympathy with the families of lives lost in the violence, NLC called on Federal Government to increasingly be proactive in responding to crises in the country. We therefore call on the authorities to take necessary measures to ensure this unnecessary conflict is brought to a permanent end.”
NLC also called on Federal Government to urgently investigate the root causes of frequent mutually destructive violence between MIN and Nigeria Army, noting that “We recall that this is not the first time the movement had been involved in a clash with the military. In 2014, some members of the movement including the sons of Zakzaky reportedly lost their lives during similar clashes with the military. At a time Nigeria had lost several lives and properties through insurgency, we must guide against further killings and destruction of properties through avoidable conflicts. Violence worsens mass poverty and prevents prosperity and better life Nigeria and Nigerians have just voted for this year.”
In the same vein, TUC President, Comrade BobboiBalaKaigama and the Secretary General, Comrade (Barr) Musa Lawal, in a statement, noted that the clash in Zaria involving the Nigeria army and the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (MIN) led by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky as very unfortunate, especially because it occurred at a time when the nation’s development is facing diverse challenges on virtually all fronts including the economy, security, employment indices, infrastructure, “We find the high incidence of conflict between the military, the police and members of MIN rather nauseating. It simply must not be allowed to happen again.”
In like manner, the Congress expressed incredulity at recent media reports that the Boko Haram sect alone has killed over 700,000 people. According to the Congress, the combined number of members of the sect and the gallant Nigerian soldiers who have died in the conflict could be within the region of a million. “We certainly do have a calamitous situation on our hands, and just cannot afford to let things degenerate further. This is one crisis that must be roundly condemned and urgently resolved,” the statement noted.
In addition, TUC charged the “law enforcement agencies to be circumspect in their operations lest they lay waste more souls than necessary to win the anti-insurgency war.”Nigerians desire to experience and hear less about killings by law enforcement agencies. This crisis is one too many. We advise the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, investigate the root causes of all the crises that have sprung up in different parts of the country before they get out of hand. The recent Zaria incident is not the first of its kind, but we want it to be the last.”
Commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives, TUC stressed that “Every Nigerian craves for positive change and massive development, and these can only be possible if peace is allowed to reign. We must guard and guide against further killings and destruction of property through avoidable conflicts.
“We call for thorough investigation. Rude and provocative as the Shiites were, the military should have exercised more patience and restraint. Two wrongs do not make a right.”