Planned protest: NLC, DSS disagree!


*Organised Labour insists on planned protest despite DSS call that it be shelved

*Pursue dialogue, negotiation rather than engage in acts that could heighten tension – DSS

*NLC will not compromise security of Nigeria, I assure you that protest would be peaceful – NLC President

*Expresses concern over high cost of living, spiraling inflation, deepening poverty, Naira at N1,900/$

By Kenneth Atavti

The Department of State Services, DSS and the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC yesterday disagreed over a planned protest by the orgnanised labour to draw the attention of the Federal Government to the economic hardship across the country in recent time.

While the DSS is rather pleading that the protest be shelved in the interest of peace, NLC has insisted that it must hold due mainly to the economic hardship Nigerians are facing under the present administration.

The secret police had in a statement issued on Wednesday, by its Director, Public Relations and Strategic Communications, Dr. Peter Afunanya maintained that the Organised Labour should shelve the planned strike rather further pursue the ongoing dialogue between the union and the Federal government.

“The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by sections of the Organised labour to stage protests between 27th and 28th February, 2024 in parts of the country over sundry economic issues.

“While the Service recognises such action as the legitimate right of the labour movement, it, however, urges the body to shelve the plan in the interest of peace and public order.

“The DSS further calls on parties to pursue dialogue and negotiation rather than engaging in conducts that could heighten tensions.

“This is more so that the Service is aware that some elements are planning to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence. The development, without doubt, will worsen the socio-economic situation across the country.

“It is common knowledge that all levels of Government are striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and as such, should be given a benefit of the doubt.

“So far, appropriate authorities are working assiduously with a spectrum of stakeholders to fashion out modalities to address the current difficulties. They should, therefore, be given the chance to handle the challenges at hand”, the statement read.

However, the NLC on the other hand insisted that the planned protests are against the prevailing economic situation in the country and must hold contrary to the warning issued by the Department of State Services to shelve its protests.

NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday evening, noted that the protests will still hold and questioned why the DSS had yet to execute the arrest of those planning to disrupt the protests.

“We are concerned by the unsolicited advice of the Department of State Security to shelve our planned protest against the unprecedented high cost of living despite the indescribable suffering in the land, spiraling inflation, deepening poverty and the Naira at an exchange rate of N1, 900 to the US Dollar.

“More worrying is the new role the Service has assigned to itself, the chief spokesperson of the government.

“We are equally worried that although the “Service is aware that some elements are planning to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence and yet have not executed the arrest of these elements,” the NLC president said.

Ajaero noted that the NLC will not compromise the sovereignty or security of the country while assuring that the protests would be peaceful.