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Workers, activists protest against poverty in Abuja, Lagos

By Collins Olayinka, Terhemba Daka and Segun Olaniyi (Abuja) Gbenga Salau and Toyin Olasinde (Lagos) Julius Osahon (Yenagoa)   |   10 February 2017   |   4:36 am

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) protest against bad governance and rising cost of living in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO.

• Storm National Assembly, want Magu confirmed
• Osinbajo urges Nigerians to speak against graft
• Acting President visits Bayelsa today

Workers coordinated by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress and right activists took to the streets of Lagos and Abuja yesterday to protest against what they described as worsening human condition in the country.

The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Kaigama Boboi and civil society organisations marched to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where Acting President Yemi Osinbajo addressed them.

Wabba said the workers were protesting against the delay in the upward review of minimum wage amidst increasing cost of items in the country.

According to the NLC boss, “We are here to demand for good governance and express our support in the fight against corruption. More importantly, we demand for respect for rule of law, greater accountability and transparency in governance.”

Kaigama said the inflation rate in the country was growing astronomically, saying that it was time for governments at all tiers to go back to the drawing board to revive the country’s economy.

In his response, Osinbajo urged Nigerians to speak up now in support of policies enunciated by the government to tackle the myriad of problems, which had its roots in corruption.

Osinbajo noted that if citizens failed to speak up against graft, those who ‎circumvent the system and continue to milk the nation dry would have their way while running Nigeria aground.

He said when the administration came on board 22 states were not paying salaries, some up to six or eight months, that was despite that oil prices were still high.

Osinbajo informed them that President Muhammadu Buhari decided that the salaries of workers across the states must be paid and that was what informed the first bailout.

The two unions later stormed the National Assembly Complex to protest the rising cost of living in Nigeria.

They called on the Senate to as a matter of urgency confirm the nomination of the acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

In Lagos, placard-carrying workers marched from Yaba, to Ikorodu Road, ending up at Governor’s Office, Alausa chanting solidarity songs.

The Vice-President of the NLC, Amaechi Asugwani, who addressed the protesters intermittently, appealed to government to bring the change that would impact positively on the populace.
services.

Meanwhile, the Acting President would pay a one-day official visit to Bayelsa State today.

The Commissioner for information and orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, urged the acting president to assess the critical areas of the state that need prompt Federal Government intervention, especially as the state is the epicentre of the Ijaw ethnic nationality.




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