As the drama between the Federal Government and the Organised Labour in Nigeria continues to unfold, the Senate has set up a three-man committee to meet with protesters at the legislative chamber after they stormed the National Assembly.
Aggrieved workers under the aegis of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Wednesday stormed the complex of the National Assembly in Abuja, to demand better treatment from the Tinubu-led administration.
The protest that was meant to be peaceful, had protesters pull down the gates at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The situation escalated when Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, leader, Joe Ajaero, and Festus Osifo of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, asked security operatives stationed at the legislative building to open the gates so workers can to talk to the lawmakers.
But the security officials refused and in turn provoked the protesters, who pulled down the gates and flooded the assembly complex.
While addressing the protesting crowd, the leaders said they are in an environment (National Assembly) where “oxygen is in excess” so they can “now breathe”.
This prompted some officials to address them.
The Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), asked the labour leaders and protesters to call off the nationwide protest and give the Senate one week to address the demands brought before it.
Meanwhile, in a more swift response, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio entered into a closed-door session and upon his emergence from the emergency meeting with his colleagues, announced a meeting a three-man committee and the protesters.
To prevent a similar incident in Lagos, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) swung into action to maintain peace and orderliness in the Lagos State Assembly complex.
The Organised Labour is protesting against recent fuel price hike, tuition fees hike in public schools and withheld salaries of lecturers and workers in universities.
Executives of Nigeria’s Organised Labour who led the protesters, said the protest is against the alleged anti-people policies of President Bola Tinubu, especially the removal of petrol subsidy that has caused a spike in prices of food items and transportation.
On whether the protest would continue after today, Ajaero said “It’s in the interest of the NLC to determine based on the response of the state whether the protest should be for today, tomorrow, or next, or till thy kingdom come.”
“It is not by using forces to stop people from expressing their views.”
The NLC protest is being held in major cities across the country, including Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt.
The NLC issued a seven-day ultimatum to the federal government to reverse its decision to remove fuel subsidies. The ultimatum expired on Wednesday, and the NLC has called on its members to protest across the country.
“We are here for the protest and to make a statement that since we started negotiation, that there is nothing we have in our hands,” Ajero said
The union leader also demanded an upward review of the minimum wage from N30,000 to N200,000 to reflect on the rising cost of living.