Ignoring the threat of the IGP,NLC goes ahead with planned strike today and shares rally points

The Nigeria Labour Congess (NLC) has declared a nationwide strike from next Wednesday.


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This comes amid fuel shortages across the country occasioned by President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural speech in which he declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”.

The union announced the industrial action on Friday, following a meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja over the fuel subsidy removal and subsequent hike in the pump price of petrol.

The NEC comprises all Presidents, General Secretaries, Treasurers of all NLC’s affiliate unions; State Chairpersons and Secretaries of the NLC State Councils, Chairperson of the NLC Youth Committee and members of the National Administrative Council (NAC).

SaharaReporters had reported on Wednesday that the meeting between the federal government and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over fuel subsidy removal ended without a consensus.

The meeting began around 4pm on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Representatives of the Federal Government had included Dele Alake, the spokesperson for Tinubu; and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari.

Other government officials present were the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele; and former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

The Organised Labour was represented by the NLC National President, Joe Ajaero; and the President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Festus Osifo.

After several hours of meeting with the Federal Government, the NLC had demanded that the Federal Government return to the status quo by reversing the price of fuel before resuming negotiations with the NLC.

The National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, who criticised the removal of subsidy stated that the status quo returns before any formal engagement with the NLC to protect the Nigerian workforce and proffer additional solutions.

The NLC insisted that the Federal Government did not enter into any conversation even on palliative measures for Nigerians, hence the rejection of the latest announcement.

The union said it had decided to reconvene with its members to determine the next line of action.

Meanwhile, Alake described the meeting as robust, adding that talks would continue. He expressed hope that the parties would reach a reasonable conclusion at its next adjourned meeting, Daily Trust reports.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that the NLC called on Tinubu-led federal government to immediately instruct the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) to withdraw its “vexatious Pricing template” to allow free flow of discussions with the government on subsidy removal.

It had been reported that President Tinubu announced during his inaugural speech on Monday at the Eagle Square, Abuja that there would be no more fuel subsidy. And hours after the speech, long queues returned to filling stations across the country amid fuel scarcity occasioned by panic buying and hoarding of premium motor spirit, otherwise called petrol, by fuel dealers.

However, few hours to the proposed meeting of organised labour with Government representatives, NNPCL released a list of adjusted pump prices for its mega stations across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

According to the released price list, the new pump price for premium motor spirit (PMS), ranges from N488 in Lagos State to N557 per litre in Yobe and Borno states, while it is N537 in Abuja and Enugu N520.

The IGP in a release by the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the police acknowledged the grievances of the labour unions, but would not allow miscreants and hoodlums to hijack the protests and disturb the peace of the country.

The acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, has reacted to the planned nationwide protests by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), saying the police would not allow “violent protests.”

The IGP in a release by the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the police acknowledged the grievances of the labour unions, but would not allow miscreants and hoodlums to hijack the protests and disturb the peace of the country.

“While being mindful of the right to peaceful protest, as enshrined in our Constitution, the IGP urges all parties involved to ensure that the planned demonstrations are conducted in a peaceful manner to prevent being hijacked by miscreants, owing to the previous ugly experiences of such protests in most major cosmopolitan cities in the country.

“The IGP, however, acknowledges the grievances raised by the labour unions and the importance of constructive dialogue, which is sine qua none, in addressing these issues.

“In light of this, the IGP orders the Commissioners of Police in charge of various commands, and supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, to engage in fruitful discussions with the NLC/TUC leadership to foster understanding and reach common grounds on the planned protests,” the police release said.

“A peaceful and coordinated approach is crucial to achieving meaningful solutions and preventing any form of violence or disruptions to public order, should the protests persist.

“The Nigeria Police Force reiterates its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all citizens during the period of the planned protests as all necessary measures to facilitate the peaceful conduct of these demonstrations have been emplaced. However, it is hereby reaffirmed that any attempt by miscreants to exploit the situation for violent purposes viz-a-viz vandalism, gangsterism, and extortion will be met with firm, professional and commensurate lawful approach.

“The Police will not tolerate any act that threatens the peace and well-being of our country. In light of the potential challenges posed by the planned protests, the Nigeria Police Force is fully prepared to deploy all available resources to maintain law and order and to protect the lives and property of our citizens. The IGP therefore calls on all officers to be vigilant, professional, and uphold the highest standards of conduct during this period.

“The Police boss urges all stakeholders, including the NLC, TUC, and other civil society groups, to embrace peaceful dialogue as the most effective means of resolving grievances, while also reemphasizing that the Police is committed to ensuring a secure and conducive environment for open dialogue, constructive engagement and mutual understanding for a seamless exercise of civil rights,” the police spokesman added.

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