National protest: Kogi Workers protest against subsidy removal, hardship.
IDRIS AHMED, LOKOJA.
The Organized Labour in Kogi state, on Wednesday mobilized hundreds of workers from the various affiliate unions to protest against subsidy removal and the attendant hardships impacting on the people.
Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Gabriel Amari, who addressed the protesters before they hit the streets, warned against violence or go beyond the mandate of peaceful assembly and procession.
Comrade Amari advised the protesters to exhibit high sense of maturity and civilization in the course of their action which is not only constitutional, but a right.
To avoid infiltration by hoodlums and miscreants, the organized labour in the state, provided the members with uniform and identification tags, for proper identification.
The protest commenced from the popular Ganaja junction flyover bridge in Lokoja at about 9.00am on a procession by the workers, affiliate unions, artisans and labour leaders across the state, and were escorted by a team of security agencies.
After passing through some streets of Lokoja metropolis, the protesters berthed at the gate of the Lugard House (Govt House), Lokoja, where the Deputy Governor, who stood in for Governor Yahaya Bello was waiting in company of some top government officials.
Receiving the protesters and their leaders, the Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, represented by his Deputy, Edward Onoja
, commended the organized labour and their leaders for the peaceful conduct of the process.
The Governor agreed with the protesters that every Nigerian is feeling the pinch resulting from the removal of petrol subsidy and other economic policies.
While he admonished Nigerians and the organised labour to believe in the new leadership of the country , led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, just as they should also believe in themselves, urged them to swallow with sweet and bitterness, the presidential broadcast of Monday.
He said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was very sincere and down to earth on the precarious situation the country found itself and all necessary arrangement are being put in place to alleviate the temporary sufferings.
The State NLC Chairman, Comrade Gabriel Amari, has earlier briefed the Governor on the reason of the inevitable protest which include, removal of petrol subsidy, hike in petrol price, unjustified hike in school fees and the worsening food scarcity as well as its high cost.
however, advised the government to urgently reverse the painful policies wrecking untold hardship on Nigerians, to restore hope while they are still alive.
He also expressed dismay over the refusal of the authorities to pay University Lecturers their outstanding 8 months salaries.