The Joint Action Front (JAF) has commenced a nationwide protest against hikes in fuel pump price, VAT and electricity tariff.
JAF comprising the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other civil society groups, started the protest on Wednesday, September 16.
The JAF Coordinator in Ibadan, Oyo state, Prof. Ademola Aremu, said, “The mass mobilisation signifies the beginning of a nationwide protest, which will put all activities in the country to a standstill if our demands are not met.”
The Chairman, NLC, Kayode Martins, said, “The leadership of the NLC is in talks with the Federal Government to reverse pump price and electricity tariff as well as to bring to the barest the current 13.22 per cent inflation rate in the country.”
Protesting members in Lagos who converged at the office of the NLC at Yaba, later moved to Itire and its environs, sensitising traders and residents.
However, the protest was disrupted at Ojuelegba, as the group was confronted by men of the Area C Police Command in about seven vans.
According to the Punch who spoke to a former National President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Malachy Ugwummadu, said, “It was a peaceful protest with our members distributing pamphlets, which were well articulated, and our placards were well written.
“While we were talking with the policemen, we saw there was another reinforcement with about 85 policemen, almost outnumbering us.
“At at point, they picked three of our leaders. I said we would not allow them take them away. We all moved into their vans, and overwhelmed them,” he added.
He said the police officers, who were in communication with either the state Commissioner of Police or the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, later appealed to them to come down from the vehicles.
Meanwhile, Daily Times reports that the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has given the federal government two-week ultimatum to reverse the hikes.
The Central Working Committee (CWC) of the NLC took the decision on Wednesday, in Abuja, where it also gave a tentative date to begin the strike on September 28, 2020.