Planned Protest: TUC Tackles NLC, Says Protest May Bring Anarchy

by Ohepo Ohepo

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has expressed concerns about the upcoming protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), warning that it could lead to anarchy due to the country’s current volatile and tense atmosphere caused by widespread hunger. This warning was articulated by the TUC’s Deputy President, Dr. Tommy Etim, in a conversation with journalists.

The NLC’s decision to proceed with a two-day strike to address the surging hardships faced by Nigerians due to recent economic downturns, including the removal of fuel subsidies and the devaluation of the naira, has led to a division within the Organised Labour. Despite emerging protests in various states calling for immediate government action to alleviate economic pressures, the TUC has decided to withdraw from the planned rally, citing concerns over the potential for chaos.

Etim criticized the unilateral approach of the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, accusing him of failing to collaborate with TUC members in planning the protest. He emphasized the importance of unity within the Organised Labour to effectively advocate for workers’ needs without causing further disruption.

The NLC, however, remains steadfast in its intention to hold the protest, with Head of Information, Benson Upah, affirming their commitment to the cause and stating that they are in communication with the TUC. Despite this assertion, Etim highlighted that the TUC has not received any formal apology from the NLC and stressed the need for a unified front to address the country’s economic challenges.

Etim further argued that strategic engagement with the government could yield the desired outcomes without resorting to protests, which risk being hijacked by anarchists amid the prevailing hunger crisis. He also refuted suggestions that the TUC might have been compromised by the federal government, emphasizing the union’s dedication to addressing the hardships faced by all Nigerians, regardless of their socio-economic status.

The TUC’s stance reflects a cautious approach to civil unrest, advocating for dialogue and cooperation over confrontation. As the NLC prepares to move forward with its planned protest, the divide within the Organised Labour highlights the complexity of addressing Nigeria’s economic woes amidst a politically charged environment.

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