. “Stay At Home”, NLC Tells Edo, Kaduna Workers
. Passengers Stranded At The Airports
Economic activities in Nigeria were crippled for the second day running as the strike embarked upon by the country’s labour unions under the auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress entered the second day. The strike action is to protest the removal of the subsidy on petrol by the Federal Government. It is also to make the government clamp down on corruption and also cut down on excessive spending.
In Lagos, the Occupy Nigeria protest continued on Tuesday as protesters marched from different venues to the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota. Apart from Labour leaders and activists, there were artistes on ground to pass musical messages across to the protesters. Artistes, comedians and actors that graced Tuesday’s protest in Ojota included Remi Aluko, Lanre Teriba (Atorise), Funky Mallam, Femi Kuti, Jaywon, Eedris Abdulkarim, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma and Olu Maintain.
There were also bonfires in Ikoyi, especially on Osborne Road. Some protesters there marched to the house of the former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu. Another set of protesters was led to the residence of Governor Raji Fashola at Marina by Prof Pat Utomi. The Governor told the protesters that he was sure that the President and his advisers are listening and seeing how things are going on in the country. He also assured the protesters that he would deliver their message to the appropriate authorities as he said the final say on the matter rests with the Federal Government.
The house of billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola too was besieged by protesters as his company was named among the beneficiaries of the oil subsidy.
In Ibadan, a bonfire was set up in front of the gate of the University of Ibadan while students of the institution trooped out to protest the removal of the fuel subsidy. On Ring Road, protesters made goat barbecue in Ajeigbe. A ram had been donated for the same purpose on Monday evening.
At Challenge, former Super Eagles forward, Dimeji Lawal was with the protesters who occupied the Challenge-Felele axis. The protesters in the area bore a coffin with the inscription “Goodluck is dead”. The coffin was eventually placed in the Challenge roundabout.
By evening, the Oyo State Government imposed a 7 am to 7 pm curfew. According to a statement issued by Festus Adedayo, Governor Ajimobi’s Special Assistant on Media, the curfew was put in place to prevent criminals from using the protest as an avenue to perpetrate activities like robberies and looting.
In Abuja, tyre-burning protesters blocked the Kuje-Gwagwalada Road. There were protests in other parts of the Federal Capital too, incidentally, there was a pro fuel subsidy removal subsidy protest which was also held in Abuja.
The story was however different in Edo and Kaduna States where the NLC nad TUC ordered their members to sit at home and await further directives on the strike action. The instruction came as hoodlums allegedly hijacked protests led by labour unions in the state.
Reports from the South-South say the strike was not really evident in the region. The Governor of Rivers State, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi agreed with the organised labour in the state and independent fuel marketers to subsidise petrol. It was gathered that the workers agreed to call off their strike after the State Government agreed that it would allow the sale of fuel at N 137 per litre. The Governor also effected a reduction in bus fares to between N 50 and N 100.
Street Journal also gathered that the strike took its toll on the country’s aviation sector as lots of passengers were stranded at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport. While flights arriving into the country were unhindered but departure flights were affected by the strike.