Police Warns NLC against Protest in Kaduna

The Kaduna State Police Command has warned against any form of protest in the state.

The warning came ahead of planned protest by the national leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), slated for today in Kaduna in solidarity with the striking teachers.

Also, the state government, yesterday disclosed that it had obtained a bench warrant to arrest violent protesters who destroyed government property during the NLC protest in Kaduna in November last year over the sacking of teachers.

The state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) on Monday, embarked on an indefinite strike over the sacking of 21,870 teachers said to have failed competency test.

National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, yesterday condemned the sacking of workers by the Kaduna State government.

Wabba in a statement in Abuja said the NLC, having exhausted avenues for amicable settlement of the issues in Kaduna, has no choice than to embark on a protest in Kaduna.

“Having exhausted all processes aimed at constructive engagement with the state government, it is clear that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has to be stopped by all means with all means lawful for the sake of Kaduna State and Nigerian people,” the NLC president said.

“Consequently, we shall commence a series of actions with the first phase of protests in Kaduna on January 11, 2018 to constitutionally defend the rights of the affected workers in the state.

“We once again call on Mr. President and all well-meaning Nigerians to please intervene,” Wabba said.

But the state police commissioner, Mr. Agyole Abe, warned that protesters would not be tolerated in the state as all forms of processions had been banned.

At a press conference at the command’s headquarters yesterday, Abe said anyone or group intending to carry our any public protest or procession should, in the interest of the public peace shelve such plan as the Nigeria Police Force will not standby idly and watch the peace being enjoyed by citizens of the state truncated.

He further warned: “Those who might be contemplating to come to Kaduna to foment trouble are strictly advised to stay away from the state as the command is prepared to deal decisively with any such person or group.”

The commissioner said the command only received a letter in respect of the protest lateTuesday  afternoon and considering the short notice given by the organisers of the protest, the command cannot guarantee that miscreants would not hijack the protest, thereby plunging the state into another problem.

Also at a news conference yesterday, the state government said it had obtained a warrant for the arrest of those who caused the destruction of government property during the NLC protest in November  over the sacking of teachers.

Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of El-Rufai who addressed journalists yesterday at the Government House, Kaduna, recalled that the last time the NLC and NUT organised what they called a peaceful rally, they attacked the Kaduna State House of Assembly and destroyed public property in addition to engaging in unlawful assembly and other violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State.

He said the state Attorney-General  has filed criminal complaints and has obtained bench warrant for the arrest of those involved in  fomenting the chaos of November 10, 2017.

He said no amount of blackmail would make the government rescind its decision on the ongoing reforms in the education sector.

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