BREAKING: FG-NLC Meeting Deadlocked, Nationwide Protest Proceeds

A last-minute attempt by the Federal Government to forestall the Nigeria Labour Congress’ (NLC) planned nationwide protest hit a deadlock as talks concluded without resolution. The closed-door meeting, attended by key government officials and labor representatives, failed to reach a consensus, setting the stage for intensified tensions.

In attendance were prominent figures including the Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), along with Ministers of Labour, Agriculture, Finance, Budget and Planning. Also present were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Head of Service, alongside delegates from the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress.

NLC President, Joe Ajaero, addressing journalists post-meeting, affirmed the union’s determination to proceed with the planned rally, scheduled for Tuesday. “The rally goes on,” Ajaero declared, underlining the steadfastness of the labor body despite the deadlock in negotiations.

When pressed about the Department of State Services’ advisory cautioning against the protest, Ajaero emphasized the obligation of the DSS to ensure the event’s peaceful conduct. He stated, “It is part of their constitutional responsibilities to make sure that the rally is peaceful while we are going to try from our own side to make sure it is peaceful.”

Crucially, Ajaero revealed the NLC’s intent to present a comprehensive list of demands to the National Assembly during the protest. “We have demands which we must present,” he asserted, highlighting the substantive purpose behind the scheduled rallies. He indicated that the demands would be formally submitted on Tuesday, with copies likely to be disseminated to the press.

The impasse underscores the deep-seated grievances and diverging perspectives between the government and the labor unions, setting the stage for potentially contentious demonstrations across the nation. Despite the government’s efforts to negotiate a resolution and the DSS’s cautionary stance, the NLC remains resolute in its commitment to pursue its agenda.

The looming protest raises concerns over potential disruptions to public order and economic activities, amplifying the urgency for constructive dialogue and mutual understanding between the government and the labor unions.