CEM REPORT | The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has 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.
Funmi Sessi, state chairman of NLC gave the directive at a stakeholders’ meeting at the union’s secretariat in Yaba, Lagos State.
Sessi said that the exercise was ready to hold on Tuesday and Wednesday.
She directed all sectors in the State inclusive of 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.
“We are going to mobilise our members and be fully on the street.”
Sessi, however, advised nurses to attend to only emergency cases while calling on Lagos state-owned tertiary institutions to also join in the protests.
She assured that the union had adopted measures to ensure that the protest was not hijacked while appealing to law enforcement agencies not to brutalize its members.
ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Lagos State, Dr Adelaja Odukoya, said the protest was for the liberation of the nation’s tertiary education.
He said lecturers were being paid slave salaries and the government was not concerned about the quality of education in the country.
Odukoya further said the union does not like strikes but wanted to press home demand to make the nation’s universities competitive with global standards.
“The struggle is in the interest of our children.
“Enough is enough, government must fund the education system. If Nigeria must develop, attention must be paid to our university education.”
He said the strike had lingered for five months and the lecturers would not back down if the government does not meet the demands of ASUU.
Odukoya appealed to all Nigerians to join in the solidarity protest in the interest of the Nigerian youths.
The Federal Government had earlier urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve the nationwide planned protest in solidarity with the trade unions.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, made the appeal at a meeting with the leadership of NLC in his office on Thursday in Abuja.
Ngige said this in a statement signed by My Olajide Oshundun, Head, Press and Public Relations, in the ministry.
According to the minister, the Federal Government has made a lot of efforts to resolve the impasse in the university system, saying that efforts were still ongoing.
He also reminded the NLC leadership that he incorporated them into the tripartite conciliation going on in his ministry.
Ngige added that they were very much aware of the efforts of the government to resolve the impasse, so they could not embark on any rally or protest.
He further said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) mandated him to notify them of the serious security implications of the planned protest.
Responding, both the Deputy President of NLC, Mr Najeem Usman and General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboajah, had assured the government of a peaceful protest by the Congress,
They also said that infiltrators would not be allowed to participate in the protest.
Ugboajah had said NLC appreciated all the efforts of the minister towards the resolution of the industrial actions in the university system and pleaded with him, not to hands off the conciliation.