NLC Mobilises in Lagos, Set for Two-day Protest


The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday called on members and civil society groups in Lagos State to come out en-masse on Tuesday morning to begin the two-day protest in solidarity with striking lecturers.

The state chairman of NLC, Mrs Funmi Sessi, gave the directive at a stakeholders’ meeting at the union’s secretariat in Yaba, Lagos State.

Sessi said that the exercise was ready to hold on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the nationwide action.

This is despite an appeal by the federal government that the NLC shelve the planned nationwide protest.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been at loggerheads with the federal government since February 14 over failure to honour some past agreements, among others.

The disagreement has kept students of most public universities at home for the past five months.

Some other unions in the university system are also on strike due to disagreements with the federal government for different reasons.

Sessi directed all sectors including the health, electricity and aviation to shut down operations and join the solidarity protest in support of the striking workers.

“We will be converging as early as 6:30 a.m. at Ikeja and take off by 7.00 a.m. to deliver a letter to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Alausa.

“The protest is to support ASUU in the ongoing strike, so we call on all affiliate members to come out en masse,’’ she said.

Sessi called on Lagos State-owned tertiary institutions to also join in the protests.

“We are going to mobilise our members and be fully on the street,” she said.

See also  Supreme Court Strikes Out Suit Challenging Legality Of Virtual Court Sittings

Sessi said that electricity workers would be part of the protest, but advised nurses to attend to only emergency cases.

She assured Lagosians that the union had adopted measures to ensure that the protest was not hijacked.

Sessi said law enforcement agencies should not brutalise its members.

ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Lagos State, Dr Adelaja Odukoya, said the protest was for liberation of the nation’s tertiary education.

He said lecturers were being paid slave salaries and government was not concerned about the quality of education in the country.

Odukoya said the union does not like strike but wanted to press home the demand to make the nation’s universities competitive with global standard.

“The struggle is in the interest of our children.

“Enough is enough, government must fund education system. If Nigeria must develop, attention must be paid to our university education,” he said.

He said the strike had lingered for five months and the lecturers would not back down if government does not meet the demands of ASUU.

Odukoya appealed to all Nigerians to join in the solidarity protest in the interest of the Nigeria youths.

Other union members took turns to lament ill treatment and injustice being meted on the lecturers and the nation’s education sector.

The federal government had urged the NLC to shelve the nationwide planned protest in solidarity with the trade unions.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, made the appeal at a meeting with the leadership of NLC in his office on Thursday in Abuja.

See also  Abaribe hails African Spontanists Movement, says my life full of coincidences

Ngige said this in a statement signed by My Olajide Oshundun, Head, Press and Public Relations, in the ministry.

The decision to embark on a National Day of Protest was taken at the  NLC National Executive Council (NEC) in June.

According to the minister, the federal government has made a lot of efforts to resolve the impasse in the university system, saying that efforts were still ongoing.

He also reminded the NLC leadership that he incorporated them into the tripartite conciliation going on in his ministry.

Ngige added that they were very much aware of the efforts of the government to resolve the impasse, so they could not embark on any rally or protest.

He further said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) mandated him to notify them of the serious security implications of the planned protest.

Responding, both the Deputy President of NLC, Mr. Najeem Usman, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboajah, had assured the government of a peaceful protest by the Congress.

They also said that infiltrators would not be allowed to participate in the protest.

Ugboajah had said NLC appreciated all the efforts of the minister towards the resolution of the industrial actions in the university system and pleaded with him not to hands off the conciliation.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here