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NLC Plans Mega Protest Against Ajimobi

National leaders of the Nigerian Labour Congress said they would mobilise members in Oyo State to stage a mega protest against the state Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Wednesday.

While addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Tuesday, Deputy National President of NLC, Muhammed Shuaibu, called on workers in the state to turn out in large numbers for the protest. He said the protest would be held to express displeasure over the proposed return of some public secondary schools to owners, non-payment of salaries in the last six months, and non-promotion in the state civil service in the past five years.

He said, “We will stage a peaceful protest against the concessioning of public schools by Oyo State Government. We will also protest to show that workers in the state are hungry. They are without six months salaries.

“Of course, the pensioners are alive without six months pensions. In the last four to five years, there has not been promotion in the Oyo State Government workforce. We urge workers to come out and protest peacefully and legitimately to show government that we are serious about these issues.”

However, while addressing members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Oyo State chapter, on Tuesday, Governor Ajimobi said the crisis was caused by lack of understanding of the education policy, ignorance of some persons, or the fact that some were playing politics with the issue.

He explained that the policy was designed to improve the standard of education in the state through the involvement of individuals, alumni and missionaries in the running and management of the affected secondary schools.

In his attempt to justify the labour concern and the planned mega protest, the NLC leader, Shuaibu, said labour unions were ready for dialogue with the state government but such opportunity was not offered by the state government.

He said, “We are civil. We are civil servants. We don’t have anything to fight. We are fighting because we are hungry. We are fighting because we have not been paid for six months. We don’t have the strength or the ability to fight because we are hungry. We just want to show government that we are poor and hungry.

“We wrote a letter to the government, requesting for dialogue but the government shut its doors against the NLC. We are open to dialogue and negotiation. We have no arms. We don’t carry anything.”

Shuaibu alleged that Oyo State Government was the first to imprison labour leaders and members in Nigeria under democratic dispensation.

“Oyo State is the first state to put union leaders in prison since 1999 till date, because of legitimate protest. This will be in the record. Making labour leaders spend weekend at Agodi Prisons was not a good way to pay back some labour leaders that supported his election in 2011,” he added.


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