THE Federal Government has described the planned protest by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in solidarity with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as illegal.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed faulted the planned nationwide protest while addressing State House correspondents after Wednesday’s weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
He said the NLC had no issue with the government on which it could order a nationwide protest.
While alleging that partisan interest was behind the planned protests, the minister advised the union to insulate itself from politics.
On July 17, 2022, the NLC directed its members to embark on a nationwide protest between July 26 and 27 to compel the Federal Government to resolve the five-month-old strike by ASUU and three other unions in the nation’s public universities.
The three other unions are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
In addition to the NLC and bodies of Nigerian students who have backed the planned protest, the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) has directed its members to join the action.
The Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) has also vowed to shut down the nation’s airports in solidarity with ASUU.
Similarly, the Coalition of Northern Groups Students Wing (CNG-SW) ordered its chapters across the 19 Northern states to prepare for protest in support of the striking lecturers.
ASUU embarked on strike on February 14 over unmet demands by the Federal Government.
Efforts by the government and other stakeholders to resolve the impasse have failed.
The ICIR reported on Tuesday how ASUU urged all Nigerians to be part of the planned solidarity protests by the NLC and other workers’ unions in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday directed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to resolve the stalemate within two weeks and report back to him.
At a media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja, ASUU vowed to continue with the strike.