Hardship: NLC Protests Rock Lagos, Abuja, Others

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress have stormed the streets of Lagos State to express their grievances over the current economic hardship.

They are also protesting the government’s alleged failure to implement agreements reached between both parties on October 2, 2023, following the removal of the fuel subsidy.

The decision followed the conclusion of a 14-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government to implement measures against the widespread hardship.

The meeting between the federal government and the NLC last night ended in deadlock as the union vowed to kick off the protest.

The NLC members in their numbers stormed the Ikeja underbridge and were seen singing and dancing while calling on the government to give listening ears to their demands.

NLC begins protest in Abuja

Meanwhile, the NLC and other related unions have commenced their protest in Abuja over the high cost of living, inflation, insecurity, and hardship in the country.

The protest started from the Labour House Headquarters in Abuja at exactly 9:36 am.

Unions taking 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.

Also present at the national protest is a former Nigeria Country Director, ActionAid, Ene Obi; presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore among others.

The protesters were seen wielding placards with inscriptions such as “#End Poverty and Hunger. Support Local Industries#,” “Fix Local Refineries End Subsidy#;” “#End Naira Devaluation; Tax the Rich Subsidise the poor#” to make their grievances known on the current economic hardship across the country.

Addressing journalists before the protest started, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero said, “The government said we should not do rally. They used peaceful means and threats but we are in God’s hands.

“We are here for a rally so that Mr President will know how Nigerians feel and know where it is pinching us.”

There have been a series of protests across the country over the cost of living among Nigerians.

The NLC and the Trade Union Congress had on February 8 issued a 14-day nationwide strike notice to the government over the failure to implement the agreements reached on October 2, following the removal of the fuel subsidy.

The Federal Government’s failure to fulfil its promises after the 14-day ultimatum by Labour will be met with a two-day nationwide protest.

Organised labour, had last week Monday begun mobilising its members for a nationwide protest slated for February 27 and 28 over the cost of living crisis in the country.

However, barely 24 hours after the planned protests, the TUC said that it was not part of the planned protests declared by the NLC, noting that the decision to protest on February 27 and 28 as announced by the NLC was not taken collectively by both unions.

A last-minute meeting called by the Federal Government on Monday night to avert the proposed nationwide protest ended in a deadlock.

There are reports that the protest is also ongoing in many other states including Plateau and Ondo states.

The protest is expected to continue tomorrow.

•The Punch

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