Monday, January 16, 2012


NLC betrayed Nigerians – Kayemo Ayodele Samuel, Lagos Major civil societies in the anti subsidy removal struggle which include the Joint Action Front (JAF) - the pro-labour civil society partner of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) and its allies of Nigeria Medical Association Lagos, Nigeria Bar Association Ikeja and Lagos, The Save Nigeria Group and the various Strike Action Committees yesterday dissociate themself from the declaration by the President of the NLC and TUC for the suspension of the Strike/Mass Action that commenced on January 9th saying were not consulted. JAF Secretary Comrade Abiodun Aremu in a statement said the suspension of the Strike/Mass Action as endorsed by Presidents of NLC and TUC as a betrayal of this legitimate demand by Nigerians that fuel price must revert to N65 as a condition for negotiation. He said the groups had resolved to intensify the struggle for the reversal to N65 and on other fundamental issues. “This was demonstrated with the street protest in Lagos today under the banner of JAF that was violently terminated at a point on Ikorodu road by the combined team of armed personnel that were deployed midnight across the country. “JAF reiterate its commitment to the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people. Nigerians should not be discouraged by the abrupt and unwarranted suspension of strike by its Labour partner; neither should the militarisation of the protest centres deter Nigerians in their resolve to rid the polity of this class of looters and profiteers that are responsible for mass poverty, unemployment, social insecurity and untold hardships of the majority of Nigerians.” The Save Nigeria Group spokesman Yinka Odumakin told Peoples Daily last night that the group was not consulted before the action was taken “we are not in support of imposition of 97 on Nigerians, we are shocked by Labour action. “ We demand a reversal to the pre-Jan 1 pump price of N65 per litre as a basis for a conducive atmosphere for a national conversation on the oil sector and how to deal with the corruption that has brought this needless crisis on the 7th largest producer of crude in the world that has been made to depend on import for it's refined product consumption.” Also the Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) said NLCagreeing to the N97 per litre when the working masses are still struggling for reversal to N65 per liter of fuel is a betrayal. CDWR Publicity Secretary Chinedu Bosah said The announcement by the TUC and NLC presidents, Peter Esele and Abdulwahed Omar respectively to the effect that they consulted with pro-people organizations/civil society organizations before agreeing to suspend the strike was a lie. “ It has shown that the labour leaders with an historical mandate to lead the suffering working masses of the country out of misery, oppression and dictatorship is shying away from this responsibility simply because they do not have an alternative socio-economic and political agenda different from neo-liberal capitalist policies.” He said the suspension of the strike by the NLC and TUC is not so much about compromise, which is not unconnected, but that these trade union centers lack the program, strategy and tactics to sustain the struggle, let alone win the struggle. Also Lagos based lawyer Festus Kayemo describe the NLC action as been unfair to Nigerians and a three step backward in the struggle to free Nigerians from the wasteful government. “It was too quick for labour to accept that position because the rot we are talking about went beyond 65 the issue is as a result of previous decay in the system, until we see have some action to address fundamental issues we should not accept the government offer”

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