FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL: NLC STRATEGISES FOR MASS ACTION
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday met with leaders of state chapters ahead a mass action against fuel subsidy removal. The Federal Government on Sunday announced commencement of deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry.
Following the decision, petrol stations now sell PMS (petrol) between N150 and N250 per litre.
In its reaction to the development, NLC yesterday convened a meeting at the Labour House in Abuja.
Speaking to Daily Sun on the outcome of the meeting, the Acting National Secretary of NLC, Comrade Owei Lakemfa, said the union has resolved to fight with its last pint of blood to stop the fuel subsidy removal.
He said: 'We held series of meetings today and we have agreed to fight with all that we have to stop this evil policy. We will not allow it to stand.'
Outlining steps to be taken by Labour in the next couple of days, Lakemfa said the union will today (Tuesday) hold an enlightenment programme at Tejuosho, Yaba secretariat. He explained that the meeting is to educate traders, market women and the masses on the role(s) they are expected to play during the planned mass action. He said the NLC leaders will meet today with the leadership of Trade Union Congress (TUC) and state chairmen of NLC to agree on the date the mass action will commence.
He said: ' We have a clear programme of events. Tomorrow (today), we are holding an enlightenment at Tejuosho, Yaba, Lagos. We will hold an all embracing meeting of stakeholders to set a date for the kick-off of mass action'.
Lakemfa noted that the focus of yesterday's meeting with state NLC chairmen was how they should begin mobilization of workers and the masses ahead the protests. 'We agreed they should begin to mobilize workers and the public for the strike', he said. Primarily, he noted that the state chairmen were asked to advise the masses on the need to stockpile foodstuffs and other things that will assist them to endure the long strike.
'People have to be told that they should make adequate provisions so as to fight till the end'. He disclosed that all vital economic points would be grounded during the protest. 'We will not spare any sector-airports, seaports etc will be grounded', he vowed, stressing that 'it will be the mother of all protests. This government is taking people for a ride, but we will show that this nation belongs to all of us'.
Also, National Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Dan Nwanyanwu, said the party has resolved to join forces with Labour to stop the subsidy removal.
He said: 'We will fight with NLC and the people of this country to stop Jonathan and his government in this anti-people policy'.
He urged Nigerians to unite and show that they elected this government and therefore cannot be treated like lepers. 'Unless all of us say no to this, government will wake up tomorrow and take a harsher decision. We have all it takes to stop the policy and we must do that now'.