Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Imo state chapter, has accused the state government of breeding armed militia, funding and arming them with the support of the State Police Command to harass, intimidate and brutalise innocent citizens.
The labour union made the allegation apparent response to the alleged shooting of a medical doctor by an armed police man during a peaceful protest by members of the Nigeria Medical Association in Owerri on Thursday.
The apex labour body in statement issued in Abuja yesterday and signed by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, condemned the act, saying that it represents a big minus for the police force that claims credit for reform on one hand, and a rising degree of intolerance for alternative view point by the government of Rochas Okorocha.
“The use of the armed police and militia against law-abiding workers by the governor of Imo State is unlawful, immoral and betrays the principles of democracy and should be resisted by all.
“For the police to fire live ammunition at peacefully-protesting doctors asking for their legitimate rights runs counter to any known rule of engagement. The shooting of this Medical Doctor who is lying critically ill, is not an isolated case but part of a growing terror culture instituted by Governor Okorocha,” the statement said.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls that the Congress had on February 1, 2016 written a letter to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase, regarding the dehumanisation that is going on in the Imo and how the state governor is using the police and armed militia against the people.
“The deployment of armed thugs and private security, if not immediately arrested has the capacity of bringing about a complete breakdown of law and order, as workers may have no option than to mobilise to defend themselves,” the letter said.
The congress, however, demanded that the leadership of the police should immediately bring to book the trigger-happy policeman that shot the doctor and also weed out from its ranks all characters undeserving of the police uniform.
They also warned that if no appropriate action is taken against the governor and his band of marauding militia and procured police personnel, in the well- known principle of self defense, the workers will be left with no option than to respond in their own time to protect themselves.
“Our calm and deference to the rule of law should not be mistaken as cowardice. Workers, like any other group of Nigerians, have rights guaranteed by the law,” he said.

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