The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday called on its members and civil society groups in Lagos, to come out en-masse today to begin a two-day protest in solidarity with striking lecturers.
NLC had directed workers to embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 in solidarity with the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has been on strike since February 14 over the Federal Government’s failure to honour some past agreements, among other issues.
The State Chairman of NLC, Funmi Sessi, gave the directive at a stakeholders’ meeting at the Congress’ Secretariat in Yaba, Lagos.
“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 Governor 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.
Ms Sessi directed all sectors, including the health, electricity and aviation, to shut down operations and join the solidarity protest in support of the striking workers but advised nurses to attend to only emergency cases.
She called on Lagos state-owned tertiary institutions to join the protests, adding: “We are going to mobilise our members and be fully on the street.”
ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Lagos State, Adelaja Odukoya, said the protest was for the liberation of Nigeria’s tertiary education.
“Enough is enough; the government must fund the education system. If Nigeria must develop, attention must be paid to our university education,” he said.
Other union members took turns to lament the ill-treatment and injustice meted out on the lecturers and the nation’s education sector.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had urged the NLC to shelve the nationwide planned protest in solidarity with the trade unions.
All sectors, including the health, electricity and aviation, to shut down operations and join the solidarity protest in support of the striking workers but advised nurses to attend to only emergency cases.
Electricity workers in solidarity
Electricity workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), say they will join the NLC in solidarity protest over ASUU strike.
Aviation workers, insurance and financial institution employees, and others have also promised to join the industrial action.
The General Secretary, NUEE, Joe Ajaero, in a letter dated July 22, directed all its members to participate in the protest over the prolonged closure of tertiary institutions.
The letter reads: “In line with the NLC’s directive and our position, which was made known at the Central Working Committee and National Executive Council meeting of Congress.”
“All members of the union are enjoined to massively mobilise and actively participate in the NLC/ASUU solidarity protest against the continued closure of the nation’s tertiary institutions, scheduled for July 26/27, 2022.
“You are encouraged to work with the leadership of State Executive Councils of the congress in your various states with a view of having a successful outing. Aluta Continua!”