We Suspended Labour Protest To Avoid Attacks – Ajaero

GodGift Ifunanya
4 Min Read

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday gave fresh reasons why it suspended the two-day nationwide protest against pervasive hunger and economic hardship after the first day.

Apart from achieving the objectives of the protest, the labour centre hinted to journalists that it could not proceed with the second day of protest due to potential planned attack by agents of violence on its members.

LEADERSHIP had reported that during the build-up to the nationwide protest which began on Tuesday, NLC had raised the alarm that government was planning to use a group called the Nigeria Civil Society Forum (NCSF) to orchestrate violence against the protesters.

However, NLC president, Comrade Joe Ajaero, told journalists at a briefing yesterday in Abuja that the congress had evidence of the importation of agents who were mobilised to the protest routes and grounds to cause violence and unleash mayhem against peacefully assembled and protesting Nigerians.

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Ajaero raised concern about potential attempts to disrupt the peaceful protests by some sponsored-groups, especially at the National Assembly complex on Tuesday.

Despite this development, the labour leaders expressed NLC’s determination to press on despite intimidation and harassment.

He said, “In Abuja we have evidence for the importation of agents who were mobilised to the protest routes and grounds to cause violence and unleash mayhem against peacefully assembled protesting Nigerians.

God is, however, always a step ahead of the enemies of the workers and the Nigerian people. That was also one of the reasons we had to restructure on the second day of the nationwide protest.

“You may have noticed that almost all the routes to our office have been militarised this morning. It took a lot of time to access our office. These are not things you expect from a democratic society.

“We want to reiterate that if the government fails to comply within the specified time frame, the NEC will convene again to decide on the next line of action. The NLC remains steadfast in its commitment to defending and promoting the interests of Nigerian workers and the downtrodden masses, who will not succumb to intimidation.”

Ajaero also debunked report that the federal government had implemented over 80% of the October 2, 2023 agreement signed by both parties

According to the labour leader, the federal government has failed to fully implement the MoU where he cited non-implementation of tax waivers, absence of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, resolution of the leadership crisis rocking the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the working of refineries, among others.

Ajaero further stated NLC will no longer attend meetings with the federal government on the eve of any action.

He said, “Henceforth, the NLC will no longer be comfortable attending meetings on the eve of any action; it’s a waste of time and energy and nothing comes out of such meetings. It’s to delay us, to demobilise and to make people have the impression that we went there to discuss other issues apart from issues on the ground. This is our new resolve”.

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