NLC Holds Nationwide Pro-ASUU Protest Today, Mulls Indefinite Action If…

  • NLC Snubs Lalong, Holds Protest March, Occupies Jos Secretariat Junction
  • NUJ directs State Councils’ participation nationwide
The protest in Plateau State

BY EDMOND ODOK – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it is not backing down on its resolve to commence a nationwide protest in all the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) demanding the Federal Government address all the lingering issues keeping the nation’s tertiary education shut in the last five months.

Consequently, the Labour Movement leadership has declared that a three-day warning strike will commence immediately after today’s protest with the possibility of becoming an indefinite action if the government fails to resolve all issues surrounding the ongoing ASUU strike with the schools reopening immediately for Nigerian students.

Speaking with journalists in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on the sideline of the ongoing 18th NLC Rain School, 2022, tagged, “Labour, Politics for National Development and Social Justice in Nigeria”, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba explained that the Labour action is not “a solidarity protest, but a protest of NLC against government actions that led to our universities being shut down and our kids staying at home instead of going to school.”

Comrade Wabba explained that “all the unions directly involved in the strike are NLC affiliates and their members are part of NLC”, adding; “We have taken three levels of decision. First is the protest which is going to be national tomorrow (today). After the protest, a three-day national warning strike will start, and if they fail to resolve the issues and bring back our kids to school, we go on indefinite strike.

“That is the decision of our National Executive Council. And what will be helpful for them is to check the timeline we have given for them to resolve the issues. We are optimistic that they will be willing this time because we are also willing to get our children back to school.”

Frowning at the government’s failure to better the living condition of Nigerians over the years, Comrade Wabba said, “I never knew that the exchange rate has moved from N630 to N670 in a week. This is very frightening and it erodes the purchasing power of workers.

“There is no way we can continue in this direction and expect that there will be shared prosperity within workers and within the large portion of Nigerians that are in the lower echelon at the economic ladder.”

In Jos, the Plateau State capital, pleas from Governor Simon Lalong fell on deaf ears as the State Council of NLC mobilised its members to the popular Secretariat Junction for the protest.

As early as 8 am, the protesting NLC members, donning fez caps and carrying placards with different inscriptions were seen gathering for briefing at the Secretariat Junction situated north of Old Airport Junction, and southwest of Dogon Karfi.

Some NLC members, who spoke with Forefront, hinted that the Labour leadership in the State had duly informed the Police Command about the day’s event and therefore are expecting full security coverage and protection all through their protest march.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has directed all its State Councils to liaise with their respective State NLC Leadership actively participate in the protest march.

The directive is contained in a letter dated July 25, 2022, and signed by the National Secretary, Comrade Shuaibu Usman Leman, Walin Shadalafiya.

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