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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Nigerians Must Resist Jonathan’s Nascent Dictatorship’


The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) has called on Nigerians to rise against President Jonathan’s nascent dictatorship.
This call was contained by the Publicity Secretary of ERC, Mr. Hassan Soweto in a statement he issued yesterday.
ERC also condemned the attack on members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), ERC as well as students under the aegis of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) by members of the Nigeria Police.
He said: “The police descended on the protesters like wild beasts and attacked them with water cannons, baton and teargas, the same police and security forces, who have failed to rein in the dreaded Boko Haram.”
While engaged in this shameless act, the Police were totally unmindful of the age and status of the protesters, who are lecturers of polytechnics and Colleges of Education. Some of the protesters sustained injuries in the process.
“A lecturer was hit in the stomach by a teargas canister shot deliberately into an orderly crowd of the nation’s citizens by policemen obeying the orders of a failed government.
“The same police and security forces, who have failed to rein in the dreaded Boko Haram and under whose nose Nigerians daily lose their lives in regular acts of criminality. The same police and security forces under whose nose over 200 girls disappeared and several weeks after there whereabout is still unknown”.
ERC therefore called on the labour movement, civil society and indeed all Nigerians with a conscience to rise up and vigorously condemn the brutal assault.
“This is crucial because this development, taken together with all the previous undemocratic actions taken by this government, clearly shows that President Jonathan’s anti-poor government is fast turning into a vicious civilian dictatorship.
“We also call on NLC and TUC to withdraw any invitation they might have extended to President Goodluck Jonathan to attend or speak at this year’s May Day ceremony because it will amount to a slap on the face of workers if the President, who ordered such a vicious attacks on ASUP and COEASU members and other protesters is now seated among Nigerian workers on May Day”, it added.
It would be recalled that ASUP has been on strike for 10 months cumulatively, while COEASU has been on strike for 3 months. And the major cause of the strike is gross underfunding of public education and non-implementation of agreements with both unions.

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