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Comrade Joe Ajaero, NLC President

Why we suspended nationwide protest – NLC

By Joan Nwagwu

Abuja, Feb. 28, 2024

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has said that the day-two of its nationwide protest over hunger and economic hardship was suspended due to alleged threats on the leadership of the Congress.

Mr. Joe Ajaero, the NLC President, said this at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC had called for a two- day nationwide protest against the crisis of survival and hardship in Nigeria that was to have been held between Feb. 27 and Feb. 28.

NAN reports that after the first day of the  peaceful protest, the NEC of the Congress suspended the day-two of the protest.

According to Ajaero, it is important that members of the public are made aware of the grievous threats against the leadership of the NLC.

“This is aimed at intimidating and harassing us into abandoning our choice of democratic expressions through the nationwide protests.

“We have been threatened with all manners of consequences that will be meted out to us if we went ahead with the protest.

“We were not, however, deterred as lifting the heavy yoke of suffering upon Nigerian workers and masses left us with no other choice than to press on,” he said

He said that during the Tuesday rally in Abuja, “we had hard evidence of the importation of agent provocateurs.”

The NLC president said the agent provocateurs were mobilised to the protest routes and grounds to cause violence and unleash mayhem against peacefully assembled and protesting Nigerians.

“God is, however, always a step ahead of the enemies of workers and the Nigerian people.

“That was also one of the reasons we had to restructure the second day of the nationwide protest.

“As we address this Press briefing, all the major routes to our Headquarters here in Abuja have become militarised,” he said.

Ajaero said that this level of intimidation was designed “to suffocate and muzzle the voices of the citizens so that we can surrender the civic space to retrogressive forces of the society.”

According to the NLC president, today (Wednesday) is the 46th anniversary of the NLC.

“The recognition of that also conditioned our decision to rearrange our activities for day-two to allow us observe our birthday in a solemn assembly in our various Secretariats across the nation,” he said.

Ajaero therefore, said the NLC would remain steadfast in its commitment to defending and promoting the interests of Nigerian workers and the downtrodden.

NAN reports that NEC of the NLC also extended the ultimatum to the government by an additional seven days, which would lapse in March to implement all agreements reached.

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