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NLC Protest: Presidency, Police Issue Fresh Warnings As 65 Groups Pull Out

 

The Presidency again on Sunday warned the Nigeria Labour Congress not to embark on its two-day nationwide protest against the rising cost of living in the country.

 

Also, the police warned against disruption of commercial activities during the protest.

 

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, and the police handed down the warnings as 65 civil society groups on Sunday pulled out of the planned demonstration, warning against its possible hijack, arguing that it could worsen the deteriorating situation.

 

The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, had insisted in a statement on Sunday that the protest would be held on Tuesday and Wednesday as planned.

 

On February 16, the NLC announced the nationwide protest scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday over the alleged government’s failure to implement agreements reached between both parties on October 2, 2023, following the removal of the fuel subsidy.

 

The decision followed the conclusion of a 14-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government to implement measures against the widespread hardship.

 

But addressing NLCS’s decision to proceed with the protest despite entreaties from various agencies and groups, Onanuga, in an interview, described it as a “breach of the law” and an “illegal undertaking.’’

 

He said, “The attorney-general has written the NLC’s lawyer that the protest is illegal. So, they are breaching a court order if they want to go on with the protest.

 

“We are not aware of any plans to disrupt the protest, but what we can confirm is that they (NLC) are breaching an extant rule by a competent court that they should not go on protest. The protest itself is illegal. So, the NLC should bear that in mind.”

Warning the NLC on its course of action, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, said the command would not condone any form of violence during the planned protest.

Adegoke in a statement cautioned the protesters against disrupting commercial activities, and vehicular movements in the state, adding that anyone found violating the rights of others during the rally would face legal repercussions.

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