The Nigeria Labour Congress, or NLC, has begun the two-day rally it had planned to hold in protest of the ongoing ASUU strike, poor government and other problems plaguing the nation.
The Academic Staff Union of Institutions, ASUU, and other affiliated unions’ ongoing strike at Nigeria’s public universities have prompted Congress to join them in a countrywide protest.
Members of the Congress flooded Lagos’ streets on Tuesday while carrying banners with various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions are: “Nigeria at 60 years Independence, More hunger in the land”. “Reduce the costs of governance now. Save the masseuses from poverty and hunger”. “Stop importation of petrol, revive the refineries”.
The protest will also last for two days.
Recall that 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 and Poor Government.
Mrs Funmi Sessi, state chairman of NLC also gave the directive at a stakeholders’ meeting at the union’s secretariat in Yaba, Lagos state.
Sessi also 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 Feb. 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 shutdown 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 Gov. 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.
Sessi said that electricity workers would be part of the protest, but advised nurses to attend to only emergency cases.
She also assured 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 also said lecturers were being paid slave salaries and government was not concerned about quality of education in the country.
Odukoya also said the union does not like strike but wanted to press home demand to make the nation’s universities competitive with global standard.