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NLC Strike Day 4: FG- Labour Parley Deadlocked


The nationwide strike action embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress entered its fourth day on Thursday. Business activities remained at a standstill while demonstrations went on in various parts of the country.

In Lagos, protesters still converged at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota which has played host to the Occupy Nigeria protest. The protest has become a carnival of sort as artistes use the opportunity to entertain the protesters and pass messages across. On Thursday, Tony Tetuila was one of the artistes spotted at the venue while Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 band were there to entertain. Many who had never seen Seun perform even had the privilege of seeing his brother, Femi join him on stage.

On the Island, the peaceful protest there was conducted round places like Lekki, Ikoyi and other parts. Early on Thursday morning, protesters stormed the Nigerian Television Authority in Victoria Island to protest over the station’s unbalanced reporting of the fuel subsidy issue.

In Kaduna State, the curfew was relaxed and people are now allowed to go about their normal businesses between 8 am and 5 pm.

In Niger State where violent protests led to the burning down of some buildings in Minna, the 24 hour curfew has been relaxed and movement will be allowed between 11 am and 5 pm on Friday to allow Muslims observe the Friday prayers.

In Ibadan, there were clashes between protesters and law enforcement agents as gunshots rang out around Mokola and Queen’s Cinema where thick tear gas smoke also filled the air.

Armed soldiers were also seeing patrolling the streets of the Oyo State capital.

Also on Thursday, the Senate met with leaders of Nigeria’s Labour movements. The Senate President, David Mark also led a delegation of Senators to the Presidential Villa where they met with the President and other senior government officials.

The labour leaders later held a meeting with the President who had invited the Governors of Lagos and Rivers States to be part of the talks with the labour leaders.

The meeting which started at 5 pm however ended after about five and a half hours as the Federal Government refused to go below N 120 per litre, a price the labour leaders refused to agree to. The labour leaders had stated a willingness to accept N 90 as the pump price of a litre of petrol.

The organised labour has therefore announced that the strike continues on Friday. Another meeting between the two sides has however been fixed for Saturday. Meanwhile, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has issued a warning that if the Government fails to yield to the demands of the organised labour, it would be left with no other choice than to shut down all gas stations and ensure that the country does not produce crude oil for export. The deadline given by PENGASSAN expires at midnight on Saturday.

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