Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

MOUKA UPDATE – 12 strikers remain in Lagos police custody



Saturday’s delegation outside Area F Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos

Comrade Chinedu Bosah (CDWR National Publicity Secretary), Barrister Adeola and some family members (Mrs Balogun Oduola, Mrs Confidence Wogu, Mr Timothy Dasaba and Mr Cosmos) of the brutalized and detained Mouka workers were at the Area F Police Command at Ikeja yesterday (Saturday, August 14, 2021) with the intention of securing the release of the detained workers. We all left Area F Police Command at about 7pm when it became obvious that the Area F Police Command Zongo Ali (ACP) wanted to continue the unlawful detention of the Mouka workers.

After dodging for more than 2 hours, we met Zongo Ali who spoke like someone being paid by Mouka Management to do a hatchet job and dubiously claimed that investigation is still ongoing and he would not release the workers. As a matter of fact, 4 of the casual workers have been released on bail after extorting huge sums of money from their family members. Apparently, the directive from the Mouka management to the police is to release the outsourced contract staff and continue the detention of the regularized workers and particularly the branch union leaders. 12 of the workers are still in detention, 6 are suffering from different degrees of injuries sustained as a result of the brutality, 2 of them are very sick and were not allowed to get medical treatment but strikingly the fact is that these workers are in high spirit and remain undaunted.

It will be recalled that 16 Mouka workers were arrested and detained by police on Friday August 13, 2021 because they organised a peaceful strike action.

Two things are likely to happen – the Police may want to continue the unlawful detention or charge the workers to Court on trumped up charges tomorrow (Monday August 16) or during the week ahead. Whatever is the dubious game plan of the Police and the Mouka Management, we need to continue the struggle to secure the release of victimized workers. If the Police choose to continue the unlawful detention, there is the need to file a fundamental rights enforcement to compel the police to release the workers, and if the Police choose to charge them to court, there is the need to mobilize as many lawyers and workers, activists and socialist to the court to secure their release.

The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights, CDWR, appeals to human right lawyers and comrades to sustain the pressure on the police and management and to join the struggle to release the workers. Zango Ali confessed that many people have sent messages and some have called him to demand their release aside the media publicity. We can continue a new wave of protest messages and calls to the Area F Commander, the Lagos State Commission of Police and the MD of Mouka Ltd demanding the detained workers’ unconditional release.

We also call the General Secretary, Joseph Dada, and President, Babatunde Olatunji, of the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees (NUCFRLANMPE) to intervene and be responsive to Nigerian workers; their role as union leaders is not just to collect check-off dues and live large, they are obliged to defend the interest and aspirations of Nigeria workers.

Given that amongst those being held are Mouka union branch Chairman, comrade Adeyemi Johnson, and amongst those sacked is a Vice President of NUCFRLANMPE, comrade Femi Alawoyin, the inaction of other national NUCFRLANMPE office holders is a scandal.

Send protests to:

Raymond Murphy (Managing Director of Mouka Ltd): 09035819502

Zango Ali (Area F Police Commander): 08035865843

Hakeem Odumosu (Lagos Commissioner of Police): 08065668179

CDWR email: [email protected]