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NLC insists on strike as IGP warns, “there’s no room for violent protests”

ORGANISED labour, under the auspices of the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to embark on its planned national protest over the removal of petrol subsidy, sad that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not done much to cushion the hardship of Nigerians about two months since he assumed office.

On Monday evening, the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, said the plan for the peaceful protest slated for August 2 from tomorrow was on course following the seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse its “anti-poor” policies.

At the resumed meeting of the Presidential Steering Committee on Palliatives, held at the State House, Abuja, Ajaero, faulted Tinubu for his insincerity in his State of the Nation  broadcast. 

In the broadcast, Tinubu said the government was monitoring the impact of the exchange rate and inflation on petrol and pledged to intervene “if and when necessary.” 

All civil society organisations (CSOs) are expected to join the nationwide strike.

Meanwhile, the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun warned that the police will not tolerate violent protests during the rallies by NLC.

Kayode Egbetokun 

However, the Federal Government cautioned the labour union against embarking on any strike owing to an existing order by the national industrial court.

Ajaero, who dismissed fears that the peaceful protest could be hijacked by hoodlums, said that had never happened in the history of workers’ protest. 

He, however, said it was the responsibility of security agencies to provide security for the protest to protect the workers. 

Faulting Tinubu’s plan on exchange rate and high cost of gasoline prices, Ajaero said: “How are you going to control somebody that exchanged dollars at about 900 (naira)? Are you going to tell him to sell below the price? 

“Will you to tell even NEPA (DisCos) today, with the cost of production not to increase tariff? Even corn in the villages that was sold at N18, 000 by February, now it’s about 56,000. How are you going to control it?” 

In readiness for the strike, the Police spokesperson, in a statement said IGP had directed state commissioners of police to discuss with the leadership of labour.

According to the statement, “The Nigeria Police Force will not tolerate any act that threatens the peace and well-being of our country.

“In light of the potential challenges posed by the planned protests, the Nigeria Police Force is fully prepared to deploy all available resources to maintain law and order and to protect the lives and property of our citizens.”

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