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TUC to Tinubu: It’s our right to protest — we’re not politicians

TUC to Tinubu: It’s our right to protest — we’re not politicians
March 01
22:49 2024

Festus Osifo, president of the Trade Union of Congress (TUC), says it is the right of the union to embark on protest and strike to drive home its demands.

During an interview on Channels Television on Friday, Osifo responded to the recent comment made by President Bola Tinubu about the protest embarked upon by the labour unions.

On Thursday, Tinubu said it was unacceptable for the labour unions to call for strike four times within the first nine months of an administration.

The president said the NLC is not the only voice of Nigerians, while asking the union to wait until 2027 to participate in the electoral process.


The NLC had declared a two-day nationwide mass protest for February 27 and 28, over the economic hardship being faced by Nigerians.

On Tuesday, the protest took place in many parts of the country, including Abuja, the federal capital territory (FCT).

However, the leadership of the NLC announced on Tuesday evening the suspension of the second day of the protest, noting that the objectives were achieved on the first day of the rally.


Reacting to Tinubu’s comment, Osifo said members of the TUC are not politicians noting that they are only interested in their welfare.

The TUC president asked the president to address the fundamental issues that led to the union’s protest and strike.

“I listened to that comment yesterday where he said that we should wait for 2027 if we want to contest for elections,” Osifo said.

“I could speak for the Trade Union Congress; we are not politicians, we are unionists, and it is our right to protest. It is a fundamental right of every single Nigerian.


“So we don’t have issues with protests when need be; people must exercise their rights, and people must protest.

“In terms of waiting till 2027 to enter politics, I don’t think that is something we could dabble into because, as an individual, I am not a card-carrying member of any political party.

“What I am interested in is the welfare of my members and indeed the entire Nigerian masses. So, the president’s view is alien to us because the right to protest and strike is that of the workers.

“There are condition precedents, for the fact that you are going on a protest or strike, there are some things that led to it, those fundamental issues must be addressed.”


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