Wike: Maritime Workers threaten to shutdown ports over arrest of 20 dockworkers

Wike: Maritime Workers threaten to shutdown ports over arrest of 20 dockworkers

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 2:20 am


Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The  Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has issued a 48 hour ultimatum to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers to release 20 dockworkers and others who they claimed were arrested on the order of the Governor or risk shutdown of all national Ports.
In press statement Comrade Adewale Adeyanju Abdulwaheed, President General MWUN,  the union said their members were arrested by Governor Wike led Taskforce on Covid-19 on Saturday May 9, 2020 on their way from Essential service operation at the BUA/PTOL terminal, Port Harcourt.
“They were arrested by the Rivers State Government Taskforce on Covid-19 lockdown led by the Governor Nyesom Wike. 
“All entreaties/explanation made by the Workers fell on deaf ears inspite of presenting essential duty Port permit duly signed by the Nigeria Port’s Authority NPA. Instead, the Governor mocked then saying they should go and work in Abuja. 
“We wish to use this medium to state that in the next forty eight (48) hours ie Monday May 11, 2020, if nothing is done to release our members, the union will have no option than to withdraw our services in all the Nation’s seaports, terminals and jetties in solidarity with our detained members as injury to one is injury to all.
The President General of MWUN said consequent upon the decision, terminal operation, shipping companies and Port users in Port Harcourt Ports are closing down shops as a direct result of the unsavoury activities of the Rivers State Government for not allowing Port workers and other maritime stakeholders to work.
The Union warns that the direct implication is on the nation’s economy with a clear threat to employment and job security of Port workers, Dock workers and shipping companies employees.
“As it were, Port terminals have closed down till further notice, leading to loss of jobs and there is already restiveness in the entire Port and this appeal for the release of the workers is to douse rising tensions in the Ports ,which could snowball into a full blown national industrial unrest if not checked,” the union said.
At the time of filing this report, the Rivers State Government has not  reacted the allegation and threat to shutdown all the ports across the country.

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