The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it is not backing down on a nationwide protest over the hike in the pump price of petrol and other issues, describing reports suggesting otherwise as the handiwork of “fifth columnists”.
In a statement late Tuesday, the body said though it held a meeting with the Federal Government, the mass action will hold as earlier planned.
“We want to inform all Nigerians that we have just risen from a meeting with the Federal Government where we sought to get them to listen to the demands of the people and workers of Nigeria,” NLC president Joe Ajaero said in the statement.
“The outcome of this meeting earlier today has however not changed anything or the course which we have set for ourselves tomorrow as custodians of the interests and desires of Nigerian workers and people.
“Nigerians are advised to ignore the work of fifth columnists who are working hard against the wishes of the people. We urge everyone to gather in our respective states and wherever we may be across the nation to give vent to this collective resolve. ”
The body is demanding the removal of what it described as “anti-poor policies of government” including the hike in the pump price of petroleum, school fees, and VAT among others.
Police Beef Up Security
NO ROOM FOR VIOLENT PROTESTS IN NIGERIA – IGP
As IGP Orders Watertight Security Across Nigeria, Appeals for Calm
The Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, is deeply concerned about recent developments regarding planned nationwide protests… pic.twitter.com/vZRGIZIPzj
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) August 1, 2023
Ahead of the protest, police authorities are beefing up security across the country.
The Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr. Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun while recognizing the constitutional right to peaceful protests, appealed to the involved parties to ensure the demonstrations are not hijacked by miscreants.
“In light of this, the IGP orders the Commissioners of Police in charge of various commands, and supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, to engage in fruitful discussions with the NLC/TUC leadership to foster understanding and reach common grounds on the planned protests,” Force spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi said in a statement.
“A peaceful and coordinated approach is crucial to achieving meaningful solutions and preventing any form of violence or disruptions to public order, should the protests persist.”