of Nigeria, MWUN, will meet today in Lagos to decide the next course of action
following the expiry of the 48-hour deadline given to the Government of the
Rivers State to free some 20 dock workers detained last Saturday.
down the maritime sector of the country from today should the Government of the
Rivers State refuse to release the staff detained on their way home after major
operations at Port Harcourt Port.
by the state COVID-19 taskforce team led by Governor Nyesom Wike and that all
entreaties and explanations by the workers fell on deaf ears.
President-General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, said: “the ultimatum subsists
because nothing has changed. We have informed the President of Nigeria Labour
Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, about the development and he will get to us
tomorrow (today). Also, we will be meeting tomorrow (today) to decide the next
line of action. As we speak, the BUA/PTOL terminal, Port Harcourt, has been
shut since Sunday. However, I can say more than this until after our tomorrow’s
sector from today, the President-General’s statement on Sunday regretted that
the announcement of the “Important Duty Ports Transfer” provided by
the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, did not affect the governor, rather he
allegedly told the staff to go to Abuja where they could operate unhindered.
claimed no fewer than 20 dockworkers were arrested and some others could not be
accounted for as at yesterday, saying among others, “all entreaties/explanation
made by our members to the task force team led by the Governor Nyesom Wike,
that they were on essential services fell on deaf ears even after they
presented duly signed ‘Essential Duty Port Pass’ issued by the Nigerian Port
Authority, NPA. Instead, the governor mocked them that they should go to Abuja
operators, shipping companies and port users in Port Harcourt ports are closing
down shop as a direct result of the activities of the Rivers State government
for not allowing port workers and other stakeholders to work. This has direct
implication for the nation’s economy and a clear threat to the employment and
job security of port workers including dockworkers and shipping companies’
Wike’s action, some terminal operators have closed down their operations till
further notice leading to loss of jobs by Nigerians especially dockworkers.
the attention of Governor Wike to the fact that port operations is placed on
the exclusive list in the constitution and is, therefore, under the direct
management of the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transport and its
agency – Nigerian Ports Authority.
the public to the fact that littoral states like Lagos, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa
Ibom, Cross River, etc, all allow maritime operations without the harassment of
workers whose services are ‘essential to the functions of the nation’s economy.
These workers that were arrested and those we cannot account for as at today,
are contributors to the federation account revenue that the Rivers State
government joins other states of the federation to share every month besides
the taxes these workers pay to the Rivers State government every month as pay
as you earn, PAYE.
Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi Rotimi, and other well-meaning
Nigerians to prevail over Governor Wike to urgently release our members, others
who have been detained, and their staff buses impounded on Saturday, 9 May
2020. Already, there is restiveness in all ports around the world, and this
appeal for the release of the detained staff is to calm the rising tension in
the ports which could snowball into full-scale industrial unrest if not quickly
to announce that if nothing is achieved to affect the liberation of our members
over the next 48 hours beginning on Monday, May 11, 2020, the union would have
no choice but to suspend our services in the entire nation’s seaport, terminals
and jetties in unity with our detainees as a one-off loss to everyone.