On Wednesday, despite a court order, the Nigerian Labor Congress, (NLC) mobilized citizens in a peaceful protest across the country in opposition to the recent removal of the fuel subsidy and other government policies.
The NLC and other smaller union groups as well as non-affiliated citizens took to the streets with their slogan “no work, no pay”. This was all despite the strike action being legally postponed through the Industrial Court of Law. In obedience with the court order, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) did pull their interests out of the original proposed strike action.
Businesses were reluctantly open for Wednesday morning in most cities in the country. The protest against the hiked price of PMS was surprisingly peaceful, contrary to the forceful strike action we are used to experiencing in Nigeria. But we are all waiting on what will happen next, university students, civil servants, and other employees in varying sectors had and continue to have a difficult time getting to their respective places of duty as of the time of this report because of the fuel hike coupled with the fuel scarcity.
I went out with the hopes of speaking with some people involved in peaceful protests in Lagos, Nigeria, and one unidentified protester told me that “Nigeria is indirectly practicing autocracy instead of democracy, presently”, he continued “the Industrial Court of Law who ordered the revision of the hiked electricity tariffs in the interest of the masses in the month of February this year, is the same body that also ordered the masses not protest.”
The protester also emphasized that several court orders pertaining to the release of the detained founder of Radio Biafra Nnamdi Kanu and some other accused people were dishonored by the government without any question or concern from the public or humanitarian organizations.
I might add that the Nigerian military, according to the humanitarian organization Amnesty International has refused to answer questions related to “prisoners” being illegally held in government barracks in Giwa. At least five minors are suspected to have died in those barracks.
The NLC protestor now concluded by saying “we are at the stage where only the government is right in all circumstances regardless of the masses’ opinions”.