New Telegraph

Hardship: Protesters Storm Lagos Assembly, Present Resolutions To Sanwo-Olu Falana seeks social security bill

…faults Oronsanye report

…We can no longer “Fokan Bale” again-Sesi, Lagos NLC leader

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Civil Society Organizations (CSO), on Tuesday, organised a march in protest to Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa, where they submitted a letter of resolutions to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, through the House of Assembly.

The letter is for onward transmission to the President of the Federal Republic Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The protesters, comprising representatives of various unions in their hundreds marched on Awolowo way from Ikeja to Alausa Secretariat where they converged to address the public.

Their leaders also halted the movement of the crowd of placard-carrying protesters at intervals to address passers-by and motorists, who were held in traffic jams as a result of the protest march.

The national body of the NLC had announced a two-day protest against hardship and hunger affecting workers and Nigerians in general.

Leaders of the peaceful protest include human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana.

Speaking, Falana said the provision of palliatives is not enough to address the economic challenges facing Nigerians.

He added that the government should rather address youth unemployment, and called on the state to put in place a law on social security.

“We want a bill for social security in the state, and if Lagos can start, other states will be compelled to follow suit.

“It is no longer enough to give palliatives, and that is why a social security bill must be passed by the house in the interest of our people”.

Falana said: “What you have done today is a major victory in the annals of our history.

According to him: “The Attorney-General of the Federation wrote to the police that what you are doing today will be contemptuous of court.

“We replied to the government on behalf of NLC that there is nothing contemptuous in enforcing your rights.

“In this particular instance, you insisted on your rights and that is why the Inspector-General of Police came out today,” he said.

Speaking on the Oronsaye Report, and the Federal Government’s decision to implement it, Falana said he did not see it helping in reducing the cost of governance.

Speaking with newsmen, he said, “We can’t continue to implement neoliberal policies that’ll further impoverished our people people

“Nigerians must continue to protect their rights. Nigerians have the right to complain, assemble fully, and demonstrate in line with the provisions of the constitution.

“Am so delighted to see Nigerians and the Civil Society Organisations make the point that we are a free people.

“We are agitating that the destructive policies of the IMF and World Bank should be dropped. The Federal Government should dialogue with labour unions and other stakeholders to tie the fate of our country.

“We can not continue to implement neoliberal policies that will further impoverish our people.”

The state Chairman, comrade Funmi Sessi, while addressing members of the house, presented the letter to the speaker and clerk of the house.

Sesi called on members of the House of Assembly to amend bills that will improve the living conditions of residents.

“We hope that you are going to help us pass our message to the governor of Lagos State.

“We want the governor to come out tomorrow to address us because we will be at the assembly again to continue our protest, “ she said

“We want our dilapidated roads fixed. Today is just the beginning, tomorrow we will come out again.

Further, he said: “We have restricted this protest march to only a few members of our unions. If we ask every union to bring out their members this place will not even contain us talkless of Nigerians.

“This is a peaceful rally, we want the President to hear that Nigerians are hungry. The center can no longer hold. We are hungry and angry. And we don’t want to be pushed to the wall.

We want government policies to be positive that will bring great relief to the generality of the people.

With the escalated prices of services and goods, this is enough. But we still believe in this country, we don’t want this country to go down but we want our leaders to wake up because successive governments have done enough damage.

“But Mr. President knows that the office is a continuous one and the challenges ahead of her are daunting. He took the job and said he would wipe away our tears.

“During his campaign, he promised us to “Fokan Bale” (relax), we can no longer “fokan Bale,” again.

“The only solution for ‘Fokan Bale’ is to quickly, without wasting time, do the needful on stomach infrastructure.

“The government should deploy to all the constituencies, local governments, state councils, markets, churches, Mosques, everywhere to deploy food items. People are dying of hunger.”

Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, represented by Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Noheem Adams, noted that the Lagos state government was already working to implement the relief measures as rolled out a few days ago by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, assuring that the government will take into consideration their demands.

Things’ll get shape in Lagos soon- Speaker, Mudashiru assures residents

According to Obasa; “We will pass your resolution to the governor to roll out permanent palliatives to the people of the state.

“About six days ago, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, rolled out palliatives, such as reduction in Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, fares and other ones.

“Also a special committee has been inaugurated to ensure implementation. By the grace of God, we are assuring you that things will get shaped in Lagos, in particular, and Nigeria, in general.

“On the issue of Falana that mentioned the social security and employment bill, we will look into it and do something about it.

“Secondly, on the leadership of the NLC, you will acknowledge Lagos is one of the safest states in terms of security in Nigeria. We are passionate about the issue of creating a state police. Lagos State is ready.”

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