The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has supported the call by the United Labour Congress (ULC) for the release of the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, to pave the way for negotiations with the company’s management.
CNPP, the umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in Nigeria, also appealed to the Federal Government to consider the fate of over 3,000 direct workers employed by Capital Oil and release the detained oil magnate or charge him to court for prosecution.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by its Secretary-General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, CNPP said: “Like the ULC observed, the Federal Government’s promise to provide jobs and its desire to tackle unemployment in Nigeria will be a mirage if actions or inaction of the government leads to job loses or contribute to the widening of the unemployment gap.
“As at today, more jobs have been lost in the private sector than the Federal Government has created due to the harsh economic environment in the country as a result of the current recession.
“Our fears are that the continued detention of the Capital Oil Chairman without trial will not only lead to the sack of over 5,000 workers directly and indirectly engaged by the company, but will also send frightening signals to foreign investors that Nigeria is a country where the rule of law is scarce.
“No serious foreign investor would invest in a country with history of detention without trial”, the CNPP stated.
While calling on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the matter to halt the looming massive job loss in the company and other sister companies owned by Ubah, the CNPP said that the government must ensure that justice is seen to have been done in all cases involving its citizens at home and abroad.
“We are aware that the Federal Government is exploring diplomatic channels to intervene in cases involving Nigerians in some foreign lands. But it would amount to a joke taken too far if the same government detains its citizens involved in a mere commercial transaction dispute indefinitely without opportunity to defend themselves in a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Acting President Yemi Osinbajo must save the President Muhammadu Buhari administration from further damage to its reputation in the international community by releasing or charging Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah to court.
“It will be very shameful for the Federal Government to be seen as directly or indirectly contributing to further job losses in the country,” the CNPP noted.