Armed thugs on rampage as they attack Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) protesters in Kaduna disrupting their procession, at NEPA Round About on Ahmadu Bello Way on Tuesday (18/5/21). Ibrahim Bashir/BJO/NAN

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to “immediately end the growing crackdown on workers and protesters in his state.”

In a statement today signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and Kaduna State authorities must end the harassment and intimidation of NLC leaders and to withdraw the illegal statement declaring Mr Wabba and other NLC leaders ‘wanted’.

The statement, made available to newsmen read in part: “Kaduna authorities must respect the human rights of Nigerian workers, and ensure the safety and security of the leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress.”

“Declaring NLC leaders ‘wanted’ simply for peacefully exercising their human rights is antithetical to the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international obligations.”

“Authorities ought to protect workers from attacks by thugs. Allowing thugs to disrupt the peaceful protest by workers is illegal and unconstitutional.”

“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari should investigate why the security forces stood by and watched as thugs disrupted and assaulted protesters-and take action against those who did so.”

“Using thugs to attack peaceful protesters is a crime against humanity. Authorities need to find out who was responsible for the assaults and punish them appropriately.”

SERAP stated further that “Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai should immediately reinstate Kaduna State University lecturers and nurses unlawfully dismissed for allegedly joining the strike in the state.

“We’ll hold Governor Nasir El-Rufai and Kaduna authorities to account for the blatant violations of human rights.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufai should explain why he reportedly unlawfully sacked all nurses below grade level 14 in the state on the pretext that the nurses embarked on strike in solidarity with the NLC.

“We’ll see in court if the lecturers and nurses are not immediately reinstated.

“We urge the UN human rights special rapporteurs to put pressure on Governor Nasir El-Rufai and Kaduna state to immediately end the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.”

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