Nigerian Unionists Released from Jail

NLC Officials Regain Freedom, CNPP Condemns Arrest

From Juliana Taiwo in Abuja

State Security Service (SSS) has released two officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), who were arrested inside the premises of the National Assembly in Abuja, for distributing copies of the NLC’s response to the labour bill sent to federal legislators by President Olusegun Obasanjo.

A staff of the NLC, Hon. Uche Ekwe, told THISDAY on telephone yesterday that both NLC Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Mr. Benson Upah and Mr. Moses Umaru of the Administration Department were released the next day following complaints to the leadership of the National Assembly.

The officers were said to have been arrested by a team of SSS led by the officer in charge of the National Assembly and detained on the ground floor of the National Assembly before being taken to the SSS headquarters in Abuja.

The NLC had described the arrest as a deliberate attempt by the Obasanjo administration to intimidate the National Assembly, the NLC and Nigerians in general over his ill-conceived and anti-people bill.

“President Obasanjo cannot on one hand try to ban NLC and, on the other hand, seek to stop the NLC from carrying her case to the National Assembly. NLC cannot and will not be intimidated by such repressive tactics. The President and his administration must know that once they present a bill to the National Assembly, it becomes a public issue and that they cannot stop Nigerians from engaging the National Assembly on such a bill,” he stressed.

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