NLC Protests Witness Massive Turnout Of Participants In Abuja, Lagos, Others

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) held protests today in Abuja, Lagos, Cross River, Ebonyi, Gombe, Oyo, Ondo, Kogi, and River, among other States over the government’s alleged failure to implement agreements reached on October 2, 2023, following the removal of the fuel subsidy.

The protests were organized to draw attention to issues such as hunger, insecurity, and rising poverty across the country.

Despite warnings from the Presidency and police authorities against the protest, as the Nigeria Police Force deployed anti-riot operatives in strategic locations ahead of today’s nationwide protest, the labor movement remained resolute as it expressed its grievances peacefully despite these threats.

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The NLC President Joe Ajaero insisted that the demonstrations would continue as planned.

In his statement, Ajaero, emphasized the critical need for the implementation of cost-effective mass transportation solutions, further calling upon the government to halt any further privatization and liberalization of the economy.

“There is an urgent need for deployment of cheap mass transportation, buses powered by CNG to ease the crisis of transportation for the poor people. Government must put an end to further privatization and liberalization of the economy and take control of the commanding heights of the economy in line with section 16 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Go after the oil subsidy cabal and other economic saboteurs instead of helpless Nigerians, put a stop to all dollarization of the Nigerian economy”, he said.

The NLC President highlighted the necessity for prudent financial management within government operations, emphasizing the need for adequate funding in education and healthcare across all levels.

He also advocated for social security provisions for elderly and vulnerable populations, and swift action on negotiating and implementing a new national minimum wage.

“They must also put a stop to wasteful spending and profligacy in government; proper and adequate funding of education and health care at all levels. We want adequate provision for social security for the aged and the vulnerable; pay all outstanding wages and pensions at all tiers of the government, fast-track negotiation and implementation of the new national minimum wage”, he said.

Lastly, Ajaero called for a departure from IMF/World Bank policies, which he argued have inflicted severe hardships on Nigerians while jeopardizing national security and sovereignty.

The Unions that took part in the protest include the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, the FCT Council, the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, and the Nigeria Union of Teachers and Construction Workers’ Union, among others.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC), however, distanced itself from the protest, stating that it was not part of the NLC’s planned demonstration.

Meanwhile, the NLC reiterated its commitment to peaceful protests and called on international human rights bodies to observe any potential violations of their right to protest peacefully.

The NLC’s stance underscores a pressing call for comprehensive reforms aimed at enhancing economic stability, social welfare, and national sovereignty in Nigeria.

The protests have ended in some parts of the country but it is unclear as of now if it will continue tomorrow.

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