The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that the union after the two-day protest against the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike may declare a nationwide industrial action.
Wabba, who spoke while featuring on Channels TV on Tuesday, said that the union members were directly affected by the ASUU strike as most of their children were at home.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba.
SaharaReporters reported that ASUU had embarked on the lingering strike on February 14, after the Federal Government failed to implement the 2009 ASUU/FG Agreement on modalities to fund the country’s public university education.
Some of the demands among others things are; the release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.
It reported that NLC declared the two-day nationwide protest for Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26 and 27 respectfully in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The NLC president said the protest was not illegal, adding that it was a democratic norm which was constitutional and supported by international charters.
He said if the government did not resolve the issues after the two-day protest, the congress would resort to a three-day warning strike.
“The two-day warning strike is to call for attention and the issues to be resolved promptly. The next level is three-day national warning strike, if nothing has happened after the protest to show our grievances,” he said.
“These are democratic norms. Everywhere in the world, even as an individual you have the right to air your grievances. It is within the provision of our law; it is backed by UN charter for human and people rights; African charter for human and peoples right. It is there in our constitution — section 39, 40. Even the court has pronounced that you don’t require any permission. It is legal and within your fundamental human rights to protest issues.
“When people say it’s illegal, I think people should remember that no condition is permanent. We have had some of our current politicians join NLC to press for similar action in the past. We are not on a solidarity action, we are affected directly.”
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, had said the protest was against international labour practices.
Also, Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, had also said the protest was illegal and would create anarchy in the country.
Sahara Reporters, New york.