19th January, 2012
The Joint Action Front, the pro-labour civil society partner, in the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) has sent a strong warning to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, over his threat to stop Nigerians who dare to protest the imposition of the N97 fuel price hike.
In a statement made available to P.M.NEWS, JAF said the “uncivilized and provocative statement” suggests a premeditated plot by the IGP and his officers to, not only repress the legitimate expression and freedom of assembly of Nigerians against the anti-poor policies of the government, “but his malicious intention to criminalise innocent Nigerians with trumped-up charges of treason and act of subversion.”
The statement added that: “Nigerians home and abroad, and the international community must be told that the Jonathan presidency is already drifting into dictatorship with its recourse to blackmail and frame-up of dissenting voices with treason.”
The group stated further, that the Federal Government and the IGP should realise that the rights of Nigerians to dissenting views and protest “is constitutionally guaranteed and legitimate, and can therefore not be subjected to the dictates or benevolence of anybody.
“JAF wishes to note that the irresponsibility and failure of governments at all levels to address the basic needs of the majority of Nigerians constitute enough grounds for Nigerians to protest against the untold hardship arising from the bad economic and failed policies of the Federal Government.
“The IGP and others must realise that the Joint Action Front (JAF) is a patriotic social movement that is at the heart of Nigerian people and has a history of engagement with the bad policies of Government, in partnership with the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, that include struggle against perennial hike in fuel prices, wicked policies of privatisation and deregulation, and for a living wage for the Nigerian working people, among several other struggles.