Wike buckles, releases 20 detained dockworkers in Port Harcourt

Segun Oladipupo


Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has bowed to pressure as he has released the 20 Dock Workers arrested earlier this week for allegedly flouting lockdown order in the state.

Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria said this in a chat with newsmen on Wednesday even as the union insisted that the governor must drop all the charges instituted against the Dockworkers.

President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju who disclosed this to newsmen, frowned at the arrest of the workers embarking on their legitimate duty.

Speaking further, Adeyanju called for the release of the union bus impounded during the arrest of the workers which according to him, is the only means of Transportation for dockworkers to and from the port in Port Harcourt seaports.

Adeyanju said, “Respectful stakeholders in the industry and from the labour Congress have intervened for them to regain their freedom.

“My major concern here is that the government should drop all the charges levelled against our members because they are not criminals and that is our stand.

“Even our buses under their custody should be released to the terminal operators as well.

“They did not commit any offence neither have they violated any offence before they were arrested.

“As a responsible union we should apply wisdom to whatever we are doing most especially during the coronavirus pandemic”.

Comrade Adeyanju also commended the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello and the President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Ayuba Wabba for their timely intervention for the release of the dockworkers.

Recall that the union had issued 48 hours ultimatum, starting from Monday to the Rivers State Government to release members of the dockworkers branch or will be forced to shut down all nation’s seaport by Wednesday.

The union had called on the Minister of Transport, Mr Chibuike Amaechi Rotimi and other well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on Governor Wike to immediately release it members and the staff bus which was also impounded.

The union in a statement signed by the President-General of MWUN, Com. Adewole Adeyanju, described the arrest as unlawful, saying that the workers are providing essential services to the nation’s economic sustainability.

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