FG-NLC Meeting Deadlocked, Nationwide Protest Proceeds

FG-NLC Meeting Deadlocked, Nationwide Protest Proceeds

by Victor Ndubuisi
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Negotiations ended without a settlement, frustrating the Federal Government’s last-ditch attempt to avert the Nigeria Labour Congress’s (NLC) scheduled statewide demonstration. Key government officials and labour representatives attended the closed-door conference, but the lack of agreement created the conditions for escalating hostilities.

Prominent individuals in attendance included the Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), as well as the Ministers of Planning, Budget, Labour, Agriculture, and Finance. Along with representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, other attendees included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Head of Service.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, NLC President Joe Ajaero reaffirmed the union’s resolve to move forward with the planned Tuesday rally. “The demonstration continues,” Ajaero said, emphasising the steadfastness of the labor body despite the deadlock in negotiations.

UPDATE: NLC President, Joe Ajaero Arrested In Imo

In response to questions concerning the Department of State Services’ advise warning against the protest, Ajaero underlined the DSS’s responsibility to guarantee the event’s peaceful conduct. “We will try from our own side to ensure that the rally is peaceful, but it is part of their constitutional responsibilities to ensure that it is peaceful,” he said.

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Most importantly, Ajaero disclosed that the NLC planned to use the protest to submit a long list of requests to the National Assembly. “We have demands that we must make,” he declared, emphasising the main goal of the planned demonstrations. He said that copies of the demands would probably be distributed to the media when they were formally filed on Tuesday.

The standoff foreshadows possibly heated protests across the country by highlighting the long-standing complaints and opposing viewpoints between the government and the labour unions. The DSS is taking a cautious approach, but the government is working to find a solution, and the NLC is still determined to push forward with its agenda.

The impending demonstration heightens worries about possible disturbances to the economy and public order, which makes it even more important for the government and labour unions to have a productive conversation and mutual understanding.

 

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