Afenifere US Chapter urges NLC to shelve planned nationwide protest

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu and Samuel Ogunsona

The Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC) has been urged to shelf planned nation-wide protest slated for Monday and Tuesday next week.

The Pan Yoruba group appealed to the generality of Nigerians and particularly the entire Southwest to ignore the call by labour to down tools.

The NLC which leads some 42 industrial unions plans to embark on a two-day strike early next week.

In a statement signed by the President, Dr. Duro Akindutire and Publicity Secratary
Dr. Micheal Awosanya and the Secretary
Dr. Bukola Ogundoyin said the NLC proposed strike is coming at the wrong time.

The group said President Tinubu inherited a troubled economy with over N37tr debt, depleted foreign reserve, empty treasuries and a wounded nd divided country that needed meticulous healing.

Afenifere said it undertands the economic situation of the country and its untold hardship on the citizens, particularly the masses but that the strike would compound the misery of the masses.

It urged Labour to appreciate the historic and systemic failures of Nigerian which cannot be rectified within the months of President Bola Tinubu assumption of office.

“We feel embarking on any form of protest or industrial action at this period will be counterproductive as it is bound to worsen an already bad situation of the country. Also, while we recognize people’s legitimate right to protest, it is instructive to state doing so at this period will do more harm to the country and the people than good” the group said.

It argued that holding a nationwide protest under the present circumstances could lead to breakdown of law and order including being hijacked by unscrupulous elements to cause havoc.

“We advise NLC to call off the planned protest in the interest of peace and we also urge people of Southwest to shun the planned protest or any action that will further cripple the economy.”

Afenifere said the strike at this time may be exploited by anti democratic forces that would plunge the country into greater turmoil.

It noted that Nigeria’s problems were inherited from the previous administration, and with the understanding that governance is continuum, President Tinubu has vowed to confront the challenges head-on, hence the need for us as a people to give him time to get it right.

Afenifere USA called on the Federal government to fulfil the electoral promises made to the people to rekindle their hope.

It called on all state governors to rise to their responsibilities by empowering and supporting their local governments to put up interventions or palliatives that would make food and other basic necessities of life affordable for the masses.

“More importantly, we advise every tier of government, particularly the states through their local government to implement people-focused programs and shun ostentatious lifestyle that is not good for the optics at this austere time.”

Afenifere, USA commended the Federal Government on the ongoing discussions on new minimum wage for civil servants including the establishment of state police to curb insecurity.

“We believe these are the right steps in the right direction, and we hope they materialize quickly for the people’s benefit.”

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