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‘We can’t be intimidated’ — NLC says no going back on nationwide protest

‘We can’t be intimidated’ — NLC says no going back on nationwide protest
February 25
23:48 2024

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) says it is determined to go ahead with its planned two-day nationwide protest over the rising cost of living, irrespective of the intimidation by the government.

In a statement on Sunday, Joe Ajaero, the NLC president, said the hardship that  Nigerians are experiencing cannot be cured by intimidation and violence.

Ajaero noted that the protest scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday would be observed in a peaceful manner.

The NLC president said citizens have the fundamental right to peaceful protest.

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He urged the government to put on its thinking cap and find a lasting solution to the rising cost of living rather than humiliating the citizens.

He called on the United Nations and other international human rights bodies to intervene and see that Nigerians right to peaceful protest are not violated.

“We would want to inform Nigerians that the State has perfected plans to attack our peaceful rallies across the country,” the statement reads.

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“One of the groups being primed to attack our peaceful rallies is by a nebulous name, Nigeria Civil Society Forum (NCSF).

“NCSF is one of the emergency groups put together, funded, promoted and remote-controlled by government to cause violence against our members for electing to peacefully protest against the hunger in the land.

“We would want the State to know that the solution to our horrible economic situation and hunger is not by suppressing peaceful dissent or inflicting violence on peacefully protesting citizens as the government did in Minna and other cities where its agents tear-gassed and beat up women before locking them up for raising their voice against hunger.

“It does not lie in the deployment of State -sponsored terror. The pangs of hunger cannot be cowed by bullets or tear gas.

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“In light of this, we at the Nigeria Labour Congress and civil society allies are moving ahead with our protest rallies against economic hardship and insecurity in line with the decision of the national executive council.

“As citizens, we have a fundamental right to peaceful protest and history bears us witness that our protests are always peaceful except in instances of state-engineered violence.

” However, if it is irrevocably set on the path of violence against us and other peace-loving Nigerians, it will be making a costly mistake because if we are attacked there will be a total shut down via withdrawal of services by workers. Let no one be deceived, we and other deprived Nigerians cannot easily be intimidated.

“We however remain resolute, determined and prepared to express our pain and grief in a peaceful manner as Nigerians come 27th and 28th of February 2024.”

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