Oil workers accuse presidency of complicity in Rivers crisis

nigerian-oil-workers14 July 2013, Lagos – Oil workers and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have described the fracas in Rivers House as unparliamentary. The congress, in a statement by President, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama and General Secretary, Musa Lawal, said while Nigerians were yet to recover from the shock occasioned by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, crisis, another one was coming from Rivers’ lawmakers.

The statement said, “it was sad that the world watched agape as two factions in the assembly openly engaged in fisticuffs and used dangerous weapons.

“The spectacle of honourable legislators turned pugilists can best be described as very dishonourable and a show of shame. They are proving that politics in Nigeria is seen more as a most lucrative business than a call to service.”

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, called on political actors in the Rivers crisis to “look at the bigger picture, which is the future of Nigeria’s democracy.”

In a statement by its Vice President, Issa Aremu, said: President Jonathan should avoid a degeneration to the dark discredited era of former President Olusegun Obasanjo during which some states were under siege; a Governor was kidnapped (Anambra) and two governors of Bayelsa and Plateau states serially removed at gun-points.”

National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, said it was concerned and alarmed about the worsening political crisis in Rivers State and described as avoidable and unnecessary Tuesday’s violence in the State House of Assembly.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, said in view of the mayhem in the Rivers State House of Assembly and the state of fears pervading Rivers state, it would be forced to withdraw its members from the state, if the security situation did not improve.

PENGASSAN President, Babatunde Ogun, said the violence showed that political leaders in the country lacked elementary democratic decorum and respect for the constitution.

The Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly, Razak Atunwa, described the crisis as gross democratic degeneration, which he said could lead to chaos and anarchy.

Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, accused the presidency of being the brain behind the fracas among the members of the House, and called for the impeachment of President Jonathan.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, CPC said that the presidency had in recent time engaged the Governor of the state in a political battle, which led to the eruption of undemocratic expression of emotions on the floor of the House on Tuesday.

Describing the crisis as shameless and executive recklessness, Fashakin called on the National Assembly to investigate the role allegedly played by the President, and if found culpable he should be impeached.

The statement reads in part: “The infra-dig dramatised at the Rivers State House of Assembly, as captured by local and foreign media, has become a cause for concern among Nigerians. The horrific spectacle, to us at the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, is a clear manifestation of the leadership deficit at the nation’s presidency.

“As a Party, we have noted that this shameless act, which bears all the trappings of the executive recklessness and impunity embedded in the nation’s presidency, had been rumoured for more than three months ago as being the final solution in the war of attrition between President Goodluck Jonathan and the Rivers state Governor, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.

“We know that Nigeria is not a monarchy, where statehood is synonymous with the person of the holder of executive authority. The President, through subterranean means, had unduly increased the entropy level of the political firmament in Rivers State for self-conceit. This, we believe, is unbecoming of a statesman. The National Assembly has the responsibility to investigate the President in the Rivers State saga. If found culpable, he should be impeached forthwith!”

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