CEM REPORT | As the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), hold its planned protest in various parts of the country, security presence at various protest camps has kept the peace.
The chairperson of the Lagos State chapter of the NLC, Funmi Sessi, has issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government to resolve the conflict with public university workers and reopen the schools.
The labour leader, who issued the ultimatum on the first day of the two-day planned protest said failure to heed the workers’ call would attract the “anger and frustration of the Nigerian masses.”
Sessi, while addressing the teeming crowd of protesters at the Lagos State Government Secretariat, added that the two-day demonstration is to prepare the ground for further actions should the government fail to act, saying the “ENDSARS protest will be a child’s play.”
“Our statement is simple. This is just a warning action. If the government fails to conclude all the negotiations and agreement among all the workers in our tertiary education within the frame of two weeks that they have promised to conclude.
“They will witness more protests and rallies all over the country, they will also witness the annoyance, anger, and frustration of Nigerians. This government has pushed so many Nigerians into depression. We say enough is enough, we can no longer bear this hardship again.”
The human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, who took part in the protest, said the standard of living under the Muhammad Buhari-led administration is “getting worse by the day.”
Mr Falana said Nigerians are suffering under the current administration while the president is “junketing” the world.
“Buhari must go,” he said.
He said the fight is for quality education.
As of noon, the protesters were still at the government secretariat to submit a letter to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for onward delivery to President Buhari.
The protest kicked off in Lagos around 7:30 a.m. at the Ikeja Underbridge, with thousands of members of the union and its affiliates including the Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), taking part in the action.
The protesters walked from the Underbridge in Ikeja to the government secretariat at Alausa in Ikeja.
Many of the protesters carried placards with different inscriptions such as; “Stop the looting, tax the rich and subsidise the poor;” “Recall all sacked lecturers;” “Let’s change the narrative, make our universities the best in the world;” “IPPIS destroys our universities, adopt UTAS now,” among others.