Journalism of Courage

ASUU-NLC nationwide protest march: Falana, others join action, slam FG’s refusal to end strike

.... protesters urge govt to reduce the cost of governance, save the masses from poverty and hunger, stop importation of petrol

Human rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, and other Nigerians on Tuesday in Lagos joined the nationwide protest organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in solidarity with the five-month strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Falana, who joined the two-day protest march to the State House in Alausa, Ikeja, deplored Federal Government’s failure to resolve the strike which has thrown students into the streets.

Persecondnews recalls that ASUU had on February 14, 2022 embarked on strike to protest non-implementation of the agreement the government reached with it in 2021.

Report said the protest has grounded activities in Ibadan, Abeokuta, Osogbo and other parts of the country which the government had tried to stave off but for the insistence of the labour leaders.

The protesters also used the occasion to bring to the fore other issues affecting Nigerians and workers.

The placards displayed by the protesting workers read: ‘Stop importation of petrol, refine the refineries’, ‘Nigeria at 60 years of independence, more hunger in the land, reduce the cost of governance now, save the masses from poverty and hunger.”

Meanwhile, the NLC has warned the Federal Government not to treat with kid gloves another people’s uprising as witnessed during the #EndSARS protest in 2020 by quickly taking steps to resolve the ongoing industrial actions by staff unions in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The Chairperson of the Lagos Council of the NLC, Mrs Funmi Agnes Sessy, gave the warning call on Tuesday during the solidarity rally.

“If the Federal Government does not resolve the strike within two weeks, there would be a nationwide mass protest. In fact, the ENDSARS protest would be a child’s play,” she said.

Also, various labour unions in Oyo State, on Tuesday joined their counterparts across the country to embark on protest.

Some of the unions and associations that have been seen included members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Trade Union Congress (TUC), NULGE and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

In the same vein, footage has surfaced showing primary school pupils in Osun staging a solidarity protest for the reopening of universities.

The school involved was identified as Sunshine Nursery and Primary School, Ile-Ife in Osun state.

Students of the primary school could be seen protesting in front of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) campus gate in support of ASUU.

The ASUU demands include the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution, UTAS, promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, and inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system, IPPIS, payments which were neglected after meetings with Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.

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