Members and unions under the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kwara State Chapter, converged at the Labour House, Ilorin, in solidarity with the demands of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other sister unions of Nigeria’s public Universities.
Moved by the failure of the Federal Government to address the issues behind the strike action, the NLC declared a two-day nationwide protest which started around past eight A.M today in ilorin, the Kwara State capital and other locations nationwide.
The protest took-off from the NLC Secretariat beside the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, through to the Post Office and A- Division Roundabout before stopping at the Government House where a letter was submitted for onward delivery to President Muhammadu Buhari .
Earlier, the state Chairman of the NLC Comrade Isa Ore appreciated his members for turning-out en masse in brotherhood with ASUU against the protracted strike and the alleged neglect by the federal government.
While at the government house, the state NLC Chairman added that the federal government failed in their part of the agreement stressing that the labour Unions are ready to shut down business activities should the government choose not to attend to the demands of the striking lecturers.
“We are here to present this letter to his excellency for onward delivery to President Mohammadu Buhari. So that our children all over Nigeria will resume back to school and this is just the beginning as we have more in our arsenal should the government fail to attend to the demands of ASUU”, he said.
Senior Special Assistant on Labour Matters to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Comrade AbdulMumeen Onagun in his reaction after receiving the letter on behalf of the Kwara State Governor assured the labour unions of the governor’s support with assurances that the message would be given appropriate consideration.
“His excellency is very much in full support of labour aggitations in Nigeria. No wonder only yesterday, government of Kwara State signed an agreement with Tertiary institutions to implement the mininmum wage for nion teaching workers. I am here to represent him. Insha allah I will deliver the letter accordingly and the governor will personally deliver the letter to Mr. President”, he added
On his part, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Kwara State Chapter, Comrade Saleeman Isah, added that the over five months strike action has caused untold hardship to students of the University of Ilorin and others of public universities in the country noting that Nigeria students are victims of bad government.
In his words “it’s been over six months we’ve been at home doing nothing we are at the verge of losing the hope of being the future of Nigeria. We are the victim of the bad government we are experiencing today. we call on the state and federal government to come to a conclusion for the strike to come to an end”.
It could be recalled that since plans for the ongoing protest by the NLC, the Minister for Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed alleged that the protest was illegal and could lead to anarchy- a statement that attracted wide condemnation.