Petrol, Electricity Hike: Group Protests Labour Suspension of Strike

A group made up of Joint Action Front (JAF) and Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Oyo State branch, on Monday, staged a peaceful protest in Ibadan against the suspension of strike by the organised labour.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had, in the early hours of Monday, suspended the strike over increase in petroleum pump price and electricity tariff.

NAN also reports that the suspension of the strike was sequel to the agreement reached by the labour unions with the Federal Government on the contentious issues.
The protest, which began from the NLC secretariat in Ibadan, moved through Agodi-Gate, Oje, Yemetu and terminated at the Government Secretariat.

NAN reports that security personnel were stationed in strategic locations within Ibadan metropolis to prevent breakdown of law and order.
Addressing newsmen, the ASCAB Vice Chairman in the state, Mr Femi Aborisade, said that the group was against the resolution entered into by the leaderships of the NLC and TUC.

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Aborisade said that the labour unions had, with their actions, betrayed the general interest of the Nigerian masses.
He said that a Federal High Court had, in 2013 and 2016, declared the increment of petroleum pump price and electricity tariff as illegal and unconstitutional.

He said that the leaderships of TUC and NLC were supposed to have briefed Nigerians on the outcome of their meeting and gauged the feedback from them before announcing the suspension of the strike.
Aborisade called on the Federal Government to follow the rule of law and reverse the petroleum pump price and the electricity tariff for the benefit of the masses.

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In his reaction, the state Coordinator of JAF, Prof. Ademola Aremu noted that the protest was to show the grievances of the people against the increase in fuel price and electricity tariff which, he said, had resulted in astronomical rise in the prices of foodstuffs and other commodities.
The coordinator called on the Federal Government to fulfill its promise of fixing the country’s refineries and reducing the prices of petroleum products.

However, some residents of Ibadan, who spoke with NAN on the suspension of the strike, urged the Federal Government to honour the agreement reached with labour in the interest of Nigerians.

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A civil servant, Mr Isiaka Arowole, said that he was in support of the suspension of the strike, provided the Federal Government would honour the agreement reached with labour and improve on the living standards of the people.

Arowole called on government to address the hike in the prices of foodstuffs in the country in order to reduce the suffering of Nigerians.
A taxi driver, Mr Tajudeen Adewale, said he was delighted with the suspension of the strike by the labour unions, stressing that the strike would have had negative effect on his daily income. (NAN)

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