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NLC raises alarm over “State-sponsored” violence  amid protest plan  

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The National Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted on embarking on a nationwide protest scheduled to be held between February 27 and 28, 2024.  

The organized labour also expressed concerns over an alleged government-sponsored protest to disrupt the activities of the protest as planned.  

In a statement by the president of NLC, Joe Ajaero, on Sunday, the labour union claimed that the government is remotely collaborating with some groups to disrupt the “peaceful rallies across the country.”  

Ajaero also urged fellow Nigerians and other civil societies to join the protest as a demonstration against the pressing economic challenges in the country.  

The statement reads, 

  • “We would want to inform Nigerians that the State has perfected plans to attack our peaceful rallies across the country. 
  • “One of the groups being primed to attack our peaceful rallies is by a nebulous name, Nigeria Civil Society Forum (NCSF). 
  • “NCSF is one of the emergency groups put together, funded, promoted and remote-controlled by the government to cause violence against our members for electing to peacefully protest against the hunger in the land. 
  • “We would want the State to know that the solution to our horrible economic situation and hunger is not by suppressing peaceful dissent or inflicting violence on peacefully protesting citizens as the government did in Minna and other cities where its agents tear-gassed and beat up women before locking them up for raising their voice against hunger. 
  • “It does not lie in the deployment of State -sponsored terror. The pangs of hunger cannot be cowed by bullets or tear gas.” 

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The organized labour also noted that it the government decides to disrupt the activities of the protest, it will be a “costly mistake.”  

According to Ajaero, any threat of violence will result in a complete shutdown of the economy with workers embarking on a nationwide strike.  

He further appealed to international bodies and the African Union to help promote the cause of organized labour as they embarked on the protest.  

  • “However, if it is irrevocably set on the path of violence against us and other peace-loving Nigerians, it will be making a costly mistake because if we are attacked there will be a total shutdown via withdrawal of services by workers.  
  • “Let no one be deceived, we and other deprived Nigerians cannot easily be intimidated. 
  • “Lest those in power now who may have forgotten to be reminded, we faced a more resourceful and resilient adversary in order to have democracy.  
  • “All we are saying now is that; let there be food for the people, let the people live in safety, let the people live a life of dignity devoid of suffocating IMF/World Bank economic policies. 
  • “We are by this statement calling the attention of the international human rights body and the governments of the African Union and the United Nations that the right of the people to peacefully protest and demand for freedom from economic slavery and hardship is being threatened by the Nigerian State,” he added.  

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