Labour unions in Taraba State and Governor Darius Ishaku may be poised for a showdown over the ban on protests and demonstrations announced by the governor on Saturday.
The Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Illiya Bekyu made the announcement in Jalingo, on behalf of Ishaku.
Peter Gambo, the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Taraba Chapter, has swiftly responded by describing the governor’s directive as a mere threat.
Gambo said workers in the state will not be intimidated by the governor’s statement.
He said because workers have the right to protest, the governor’s directive will not be obeyed by the union members.
“To avert any form of protest in the state, the government must endeavour to settle all salary arrears meant for public servants. This is the only way the organised labour can desist from embarking on peaceful demonstrations,” he said.
Governor Ishaku said any group or individual that wants to protest must seek government approval before embarking on such exercise.
The ban comes four days after primary school teachers in the state protested the non-payment of their salaries, now running into eight months.
The teachers were joined in the protest by their pupils.
“I want to state here that individuals or groups wanting to embark on any form of demonstration in the state without government approval are warned to desist forthwith or face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
He warned parents and guardians against allowing their children to take to the streets for protest on behalf of their teachers.
“The state government is particularly warning parents and some individuals who want to use little children as shield during demonstrations in pressing for whatever demands to refrain from such act or be prosecuted,” he noted.
He warned that any attempt by individuals or groups to undermine the credibility of the government would not be tolerated and anyone caught in such act would be treated as a saboteur.