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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has revealed that the 20 dockworkers detained by the Rivers State Government over lockdown violation.

The union attributed the dockworker’s release to the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and other stakeholders.

The union in a statement commended the stakeholders, saying it was their immediate response that aided the release of the dockworkers.

The statement read in part, “We wish to commend the prompt response and intervention of the Presidency, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello; Comrade Ayuba Wabba (NLC president), the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman; the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency,  Dr Bashir Jamoh; the Chairperson, Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, Princess Vicky Haastrup; Inspector General of Police and other well-meaning Nigerians that enabled the immediate release of our hitherto incarcerated colleagues.”

On May 10, the 20 dockworkers with BUA/PTOL terminal in Port Harcourt Port, Rivers State, were detained by the Rivers State Task Force on Enforcement of COVID-19 lockdown order.

According to the union, the dockworkers who had been classified as essential duty workers, were on their way from work when the incident happened.

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The MWUN had then issued a 48-hour ultimatum, threatening to withdraw services of its members in all ports, jetties and terminals in the nation, if the dockworkers were not released.

The President General of the MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, said, “Well-meaning Nigerians intervened and consequently effected the release of our comrades – dockworkers while charges against them have been dropped.

“In view of this development, the leadership of the union met and mandated the announcement of suspension of the planned withdrawal of its members in all ports, jetties and terminals.”

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