New Telegraph

Nat’l Protest: CSOs Urge NLC To Explore Dialogue To Achieve Result

The Civil Society Organisation (CSO) under the aegis of Lagos People’s Assembly and Defend Lagos Coalition has appealed to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), to further engage the Federal Government in dialogue to resolve the disagreement over solutions to the economic hardship in the country rather than protesting.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, the spokesperson of the CSO groups, Nelson Ekujumi, said going on mass protests now will make the situation of things get worse in the country.

The NLC has decided to embark on mass protests between 27 and 28 of February to press home its demand from the Federal Government.

The CSOs stated that NLC has alternative means it can engage to make the government do its bidding and that mass protest is the last option.

It, therefore, advised the NLC to explore dialogue before settling for protest. It noted that the economic hardship experienced in Nigeria is not limited to the country.

Ekujumi explained that going on strike will add to the burden of Nigerians, because hoodlums may hijack it to bring hardship and mayhem to Nigerians.

He added that Lagos State is yet to recover from the losses it suffered during the EndSARS protest, and it wouldn’t like to plunge Lagosians into another suffering.

“While we recognize the right of the labour unions to embark on protest or strike, as conscientious citizens and residents of Lagos, we are conscious that Labour as a factor of production creates wealth which is the motto of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and going on a protest march at this point in time will be injurious to the economic wellbeing of Lagosians, Nigerians and a negation of what labour stands for.

“Lagos State like we all know is a volatile environment, because it is the envy of anti-democratic elements who would stop at nothing to pull the state and Nigeria backwards at the slightest opportunity.

“The trauma of the 2020 EndSARS protests with its damage to limbs, destruction of life and public and private properties still haunts us to date.

“As we all know, it’s an indisputable fact that Nigerians are going through economically challenging times like citizens of other countries in the world, which is an admission of the truism that the present-day economic challenges are a global phenomenon.

“It is in this vein, that as the Lagos People’s Assembly (LPA) which is an assemblage of Nigerians of different ethnic, religious and professional calling living and doing business in Lagos, we are earnestly adding our voice to that of other patriots and men and women of goodwill and peace, to call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve it’s two days protest marches for the sake of national peace and security.”

The CSO also refuted the rumour making rounds that the economic hardship was caused by recommendations made to the Nigeria government by international agencies,

“We have watched and listened to how some persons and interests have tried to mislead and confuse the Nigerian people by saying that the retooling of the economy by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is a foreign economic pill that was prescribed for Nigeria.

“Absolutely untrue, Nigerians themselves being economically savvy prescribed this solution in order to remove the Nigerian economy from the life support machine that it was plugged in.”

Ekujumi said the economic hardship had long been mentioned by economic experts. “The economic challenges we are presently facing were foretold in the past by economic experts who x-rayed our economic reality and admonished us to be prepared for tough times ahead and like it’s said tough times don’t last, but tough people do”.

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