The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, stands with Nigerian youths who have been on the streets in various parts of the country in the last two weeks demanding an end to police brutality and bad governance in the country.
We condemn in strongest terms, the killings and maiming of these innocent youths some of whom are Nigerian workers and our members by the agents of the state.
We salute the uncommon courage of the youths who turned out en-mass to protect the future of the country even in the face of attacks by alleged state-sponsored thugs. We maintain that the protests have been largely peaceful until the state-sponsored violence against unarmed youths.
TUC believes that in any event of law-breaking and disorder, the standard around the world to quench such is the use of water cannons, batons, teargas, and rubber bullets. No sane government would use live ammunition on its youths.
We call on the government to as a matter of urgency identify the leaders of the protesting youths for a roundtable discussion with a view to listening to the agitations and addressing the concerns such as police and other security agencies’ brutality, unemployment, corruption, unfair labor treatment, human capital development and infrastructural deficit among others.
We Call on our gallant youths and law enforcement agents to sheath their swords for meaningful discussion to take place. No war has ever been won on the battleground rather, on the table.
We demand an immediate investigation into the killings and maiming of innocent protesters; the sponsors of the thugs that attacked the youths and public facilities; prosecution of the security agents involved in the killings and adequate compensation for all the affected victims and families.
We assure Nigerian youths that you have the unwavering support of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, in your struggle for a better Nigeria.
We, therefore, propose an immediate conference of youths in the 36 states of the federations and the federal capital to douse the tensions and articulate the demands of the youth. Their state conferences with youth should now be convened by the federal government where government policy on youths can now be formulated. The conference should be broad-based and should accommodate a broad spectrum of opinions.
May the souls of the departed rest in peace. Amen. God bless Nigeria!