The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has given a 48-hour ultimatum for the release of its members who were arrested in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on the orders of Governor Nyeson Nwike for allegedly violating the state lockdown on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The union, in an open letter signed by the union’s President General; Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, said that 20 dockworkers were arrested by officials of the Rivers State Task Force on COVID-19, after closing from two terminals at Port Harcourt port, that is BUA and PTOL,
The MWUN said it was shocked that, although the dockworkers were arrested even after showing evidences that they were on essential services, with ‘port passes’ issued by the Nigeria Ports Authourity (NPA).
The union recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that the ports should remain opened to provide essential services, it lamented that, despite that, the union members were arrested by Governor Nyeson Nwike.
The MWUN also noted that port operations are in the exclusive list in the Nigerian constitutions under the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Ports Authourity.
It however lamented that, despite this, the dockworkers were arrested. It consequently pleaded that President Buhari and the Minister of Transport; Mr Rotimi Amaechi should prevail on the Governor of Rivers State to release the union members.
The union warned that, in the next 48 hours, if the workers were not release, it would have no cause than to withdraw its services in all the nation’s seaports.