The leadership of Nigeria’s organized labour unions, the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress made its standpoint known on the new price of petrol. The decision was made public at a press congress on Monday afternoon. The labour leaders announced the suspension of their industrial action, protests and all rallies.
The joint statement from the NLC and TUC read in part “the Labour Movement and its allies who had the historic responsibility of coordinating the mass action has had cause to review the actions and decided that in order to save lives and in the interest of national survival, these mass actions be suspended.”
The labour leaders also said “the least we owe our compatriots who have become martyrs in the patriotic struggle to assert our sovereignty and ensure good governance is to remain steadfast and unbowed. Labour reiterates its demand that those who perpetrated violence against unarmed protesters should be brought to justice. With the experiences of the past eight days, we are sure that no government or institution will take Nigerians for granted again.
In view of the foregoing, Labour and its allies formally announce the suspension of strikes, mass rallies and protests across the country. We demand the release of all those detained in the course of the strikes, rallies and street protests.”
Nigerians in some quarters have however expressed the opinion that the labour unions might have been compromised. Many adduced this to the fact that the when the government offered N 120, labour insisted on N 90 for a litre of petrol.
With the development, workers are expected to resume on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fahola expressed his dissatisfaction over the presence of armed soldiers on the streets of Lagos. The Governor said “the protests have been peaceful in places like Ojota, Fadeyi and Falomo. There was no destruction of public property and the protesters did not break any law,” he therefore wondered why the Federal Government chose to unleash soldiers against unarmed civilians.
“Most of us that are holding public offices in Nigeria today danced publicly before these people while we were seeking for their votes. Why then should anyone be irritated when the same people sing and dance to express their dissatisfaction?” Fashola asked.