..As Aremu Calls for a new Inclusive National Security measures
As more facts emerged about the casualties of the terror attack on Abuja – Kaduna train last Monday, a call has been made for an all inclusive framework for National Security measures as contained in 2014 National Confab to complement the current integrated security surveillance and monitoring solution for the Abuja to Kaduna railway line and Lagos-Ibadan railway line as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Director General of Micheal National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS) Ilorin Comrade Issa Aremu made the call on Wednesday in a statement during his sympathy visit to the headquarter of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Abuja on behalf of the Honourable Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo SAN.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) lost its Secretary-General, Comrade Musa Ozigi – Lawal and Akinsola Akinwunmi, Kwara State Chairman of TUC. Both were killed in the train bombing carried out by bandits on March 28, at Kateri-Rijana area of Kaduna State on the way to Kaduna for the TUC National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
Comrade Aremu described the two late comrades as “best ones among the best trade unionists out of Nigeria in the 21st century” adding that “they were genuinely and selflessly committed to the decent work agenda for the working class”. According to him, for dying in the service of workers “they paid supreme sacrifice in a just struggle of emancipation of the working class”. The Director General revealed that the modest transformation” of the MINILS in his one year of appointment was attributable to “the spirited, enthusiastic support and comradeship of Comrades Lawal and Akinwunmi among many other comrades”. He commended the leadership of the TUC and NLC for “the spontaneous posthumous solidarity” for the families of the late comrades. He disclosed that MINILS’s 2- day mournings and prayers for the late unionists, adding that “an injury inflicted by bandits on them was an injury to all humanity” . MINILS also expressed solidarity with the Nigeria Union of Railway men ( NUR), staff and management of Nigeria Railway Cooperation ( NRC) whose lives and livelihoods have been tragically disrupted by the callous attacks of the bandits.
While observing that the demise of the late Trade Union Congress (TUC) Secretary General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi and others was “one funeral caused by bandits, too many” he charged organized labour to join forces with government and communities to fight terrorism as “increasingly security issues are also trade union issues”. Nigeria, he said was “never short of articulated security issues, the missing link was implementation”. Aremu therefore said in addition to current initiatives there was the need to revisit the main report of 2014 National Conference security report which he said critical stakeholders like organized labour were the key drivers as delegates. While commending the unprecedented revival of the Railway sector by Buhari administration, there was the need for sustained, prompt uninterrupted funding of protection of critical national assets as demanded for the Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amechi .
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), has confirmed the safety of 170 passengers aboard the Abuja-Kaduna train attacked by terrorists last Monday while 21 others were still missing. NRC’s Managing Director, Mr Fidet Okhiria, said this in a statement on Sunday in Lagos while giving update on the incident, which occurred on March 28, at Kateri-Rijana area of Kaduna State. He said said that seven coaches have been recovered while the Corporation had intensified efforts towards restoration of the services.