CEM REPORT | The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has kicked against the statement of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, alleging that the planned protest of the union is illegal.
NLC in a statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba, stated that the Minister’s statement goes against democratic principles and the rule of law.
“It’s elementary knowledge that the right to peaceful assembly and protest is a fundamental global right guaranteed by the UN charter on Human and Peoples right and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. All peaceful assemblies are lawful and do not require any permission under our laws. In a democratic society such a statement is not consistent with the rule of law.”
He also noted that NLC’s planned protest was not a solidarity protest, saying NLC is directly involved in the dispute.
“It’s not a solidarity protest, NLC is directly involved in the current dispute in our university system. All the four trade unions involved are affiliates of NLC,”
“Secondly, as citizens, our children have been out of school for 5 months, the majority are children of the working class and the less privileged, this alone should call for urgent action.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerians Students (NANS) has directed its subdivisions to begin mobilising students to join NLC in the nationwide protest.
Recall that NLC had announced a nationwide protest scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday should the government fail to reach an agreement with the striking workers unions.
Unions in the aviation sector have also indicated to join in the protest.
The Federal Government in a move to halt the action had said the planned protest is illegal according to the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed who made the announcement after a federal executive council (FEC) meeting.
He said, “The NLC is not a political party. The NLC can go on strike or protest if the rights of NLC members are involved. What the NLC is planning in the next few days is about interest. There’s no dispute whatsoever between NLC as a body with the federal government.
“Well yes, there’s a dispute between some members of the NLC, ASUU and the federal government which is being looked into. And NLC itself is a party to the committee that is looking into the solution.
“So calling out people on street protest, you begin to wonder, what is the motive of NLC in this matter? But you see here, we do not interrogate what NLC is doing. NLC by its own laws cannot even give out pamphlets. And NLC is supposed to be completely insulated from politics.”