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Pro-Tinubu youths storm N’Assembly, fault NLC’s planned protests
 
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Fri, 23 Feb 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

Scores of pro-democracy activists on Friday staged a solidarity march from the popular Unity Fountain to the National Assembly complex in Abuja to demand that the Nigeria Labour Congress suspend its planned two-day protest and return to the negotiation table with the Federal Government.

They also vowed to mobilise Nigerians against the unionists if the lawmakers couldn’t convince them not to go ahead with the protest.

The protesters, who arrived at the complex in six luxury buses, were chanting solidarity songs and displaying displaying anti-NLC placards.

Some of the placards read “Let’s be patient with Tinubu” “NLC, please rest. Jagaban is working” and “NLC, stop pretending to be fighting for Nigerians.”

Addressing newsmen at the Unity Fountain, Convener of Nigerian Civil Society Forum, Sunday Attah, said those who are familiar with history know that the same NLC that is ‘pretending to fight for the masses’ was among the biggest critics of fuel subsidy removal.

Attah also urged the unionists to borrow a leaf from the United Kingdom where the people stood with the government when the country’s economy entered recession.

He said, “We must understand the trajectory of how the NLC has operated over time. Remember in this same country when fuel subsidy was removed, they got up and claimed to be standing for Nigerians. They fought and said fuel subsidy should not be removed. But after a series of meetings, which of course today they are saying didn’t yield any fruit, we know how these ‘coloured’ papers exchanged hands and matters died on the ground.

“We are not going to allow the NLC to plunge Nigeria into anarchy. Calling for protest against an eight-month-old government is uncalled for. The President is doing his best. He is not a magician. All that Nigerians need at the moment is to be patient with the President.

“When a woman gets pregnant it takes nine months for her to deliver. When the child is born, it takes another one to two years for the child to walk. Why can’t NLC support Mr President to deliver dividends of democracy and to fulfill all his campaign promises?

“What they are doing is to play the wild card to get the sympathy of Nigerians then go behind to negotiate and collect money. “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not that kind of president. He wants to work for all Nigerians and this is the reason why the president begged Nigerians to give him time. His policies may take a little time for us to adjust.

“These things happen even in civilised societies where government policies do not start manifesting and yielding fruits overnight it takes a little process of time and that is the process we are at the moment. In the UK today the British government is in recession. Are people protesting against the government? It is a process.”

His position was shared by the co-convener of the group, Terrence Kuanum, who argued that shutting down commercial activities in the country won’t resolve the economic hardship in the country.

“I am hungry, you are hungry. But it is not by sabotaging the system or antagonising the system that we can resolve this issue. We can only resolve this issue as patriotic Nigerians so the next generation doesn’t face it.

“We are giving them 24 hours to rescind the decision to protest and go back to the negotiation table. If they insist on coming out, we are calling on Nigerians not to respect any decision from NLC. We are going to mobilise the masses to stay back and work for this country. No strike can solve this problem. People go on strike to get the attention of policymakers. But in your case, you are already with the policymakers. So what is the essence of the strike?” he said.

The NLC affirmed its determination to proceed with planned protests against the current economic conditions, disregarding warnings from the Department of State Services.

It has also commenced mobilisation efforts for a nationwide protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, highlighting the country’s cost of living crisis.

Sources indicate that the Federal Government’s failure to fulfill its commitments following the 14-day ultimatum from labor will result in a two-day nationwide protest on February 27 and 28.

 

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