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Senate to NLC: Don’t go on strike, give us one week to address your demands

The leadership of the senate has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to rescind its decision to embark on a strike and protests over the state of the nation.

After the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum given to the federal government to reverse all “anti-poor” and “insensitive” policies, leaders and members of the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) staged a protest in Abuja on Wednesday.

During the march, protesters pull down the gate leading into the National Assembly Complex, while chanting solidarity songs.

On Monday, the senate resolved to meet with the leadership of the NLC to shelve the impending strike on the petrol subsidy removal and continue negotiations with the federal government.

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Addressing the protesters, Ali Ndume, chief whip of the senate, called on the NLC to give the upper legislative chamber, a chance to also be part of negotiations to resolve the crisis.

“The national assembly, especially the senate, we have been following keenly what is going on. When we realized that there is a breakdown in the discussion between the presidency and NLC, the day before yesterday, one of our colleagues brought a motion on this labour crisis that we are facing and the need for the senate to intervene,” Ndume said.

“There is a motion that we passed on Monday when we sat before we started the ministerial screening.  We brought that motion and all the members of the senate were co-sponsors.

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“I have said that the NLC should be negotiating with either the president or the vice-president and if because of their schedule, then an acceptable representation would continue the discussion. We stand with you on that.

“And as I said, please have confidence in the national assembly and give us a trial. Let the senate, the leadership be involved in the negotiation.

“Please, reconsider and give the senate the chance and then if we fail you, then of course, you can go back to your position. I beg you in the name of God.

“The senate is going to be involved. Please, I am begging you to call off the strike and give us one week and we will report progress. And if you are not satisfied with the progress, then you can take any action.”

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