Protesters pull down National Assembly gate

MEMBERS of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) protesting against the hardship in the country caused by the removal of petrol subsidy have pulled down the entrance gate of the National Assembly.

The protesters, led by the leaders of organised labour, Joe Ajaero of the NLC and Festus Osifo of the TUC, had asked security operatives stationed at the entrance of the National Assembly to open the gate for the angry workers to enter the complex and express their displeasure to the lawmakers.

The security operatives refused and the protesters entered the complex by pulling down the gate while chanting solidarity songs.

As of the time of filing this report, the protesters are gathered in the premises of the National Assembly complex as stern-looking security personnel look on.

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The NLC commenced the protests on Wednesday, August 2, amid biting hardship caused by President Bola Tinubu’s decision to discontinue petrol subsidy.

On Wednesday morning, NLC President Joe Ajaero told journalists at the Unity Fountain in Abuja that the protests have commenced nationwide.

Ajaero said the Police have tried to stop the protests in some states.

But the labour leader vowed that nothing will stop the exercise.

“The protest is on; it has taken off in all the states of the federation, barring some constraints, including police efforts to equally stop it in some areas.

“But to be candid with you, nothing is stopping the protest. Not even an overture or promise of commitment or offer from the government. So I don’t understand why people feel that it will not hold. The protest is on, and it will hold,” Ajaero said.

The NLC President did not clearly state how long the protests would last. He suggested that the demonstration could continue for as long as the Congress decides.

Ajaero noted that the protest was necessary because negotiations between the Federal Government and labour have not yielded any positive results.

“It is equally in our own enlightened self-interest, based on the interest of the state, to determine whether the protest will be for today or tomorrow or next or till thy kingdom come.




     

     

    “It is not by mere using forces to stop people from expressing their views.

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    “So we are here for the protest and to make a statement to Nigerians that since we started even negotiations, there is nothing we have in our hands,” he said.

    The protesters, including members of affiliate unions of the NLC and TUC, gathered at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, where the protest kicked off on Wednesday.

    The Inspector General of Police had on Tuesday warned labour against embarking on protests that could be hijacked by hoodlums.

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