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Nationwide Protest Kicks Off As Nigerian Labour Congress Meeting with Tinubu Government Ends In Deadlock

NLC protest

The two-day nationwide protest against hardship kicks off today after the Monday evening meeting between representatives of the President Bola Tinubu’s government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) ended in stalemate.

In last-minute efforts to prevent the protest, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, had invited the labour leaders to his office.

Aside from the SGF, Ministers of Agriculture; budget and national planning; Labour and Employment; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Head of Service of the Federation, as well as the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), attended the meeting. 

As the meeting progressed, the labour leaders took a break from where they broke into another meeting  for consultation.

At the end,  NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said despite the intervention to avert the nationwide protests, it would go on as scheduled.

He however, urged the security agents to protect the protesters.

When asked on the warning from the DSS, he said, “I would say despite the warning from the DSS, the rally goes on, but it is part of their (security agencies) constitutional responsibility to make sure that the rally is peaceful.

“And while we are going to try our own side to make sure it’s a peaceful rally, that’s all.”

When asked on the unions protesting at the National Assembly, Ajaero said, “Usually, there is no rally that we just do for the sake of walking around. We have demands that we present. Maybe by Tuesday when we present these demands, a copy of it will be made public.”

Government representatives were, however, not available for comments.

SaharaReporters had reported on Sunday that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had warned the government against attacking members and protesters during its planned nationwide protest scheduled for tomorrow, February 27 and Wednesday, February 28.
 
According to the NLC, any attack on their procession would lead to a total shutdown of the economy.

The NLC had announced a nationwide protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, to kick against the economic challenges facing Nigerians.

The decision came after a 14-day ultimatum issued to the Nigerian Government regarding the widespread hardship.

But the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, (SAN) have urged the NLC to shelve its proposed nationwide protest.

Amid the increasing hardship, rising inflation and high cost of living, a human rights group, Take It Back Movement had staged a protest in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria against the government’s indifference to the plight of Nigerians.
 
SaharaReporters had reported that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, on Sunday, warned against any form of violent protest in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.
 
But the protesters, who hit the streets of Lagos on Monday morning, were seen carrying placards with various messages at Ojuelegba Underbridge.

The protesters lamented the hardship and economic challenges in the country, saying Nigerians were getting poorer by the day.

They blamed the policies of the administration of President Bola Tinubu for the worsening situation. 

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