The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC ) has stated not to organise any protests against the current fuel crisis in any of the 36 state in the country, until Nigerians are prepared to offer support. According to it Deputy President of the Congress, Peters Adeyemi, made this known yesterday in an exclusive interview with news reporter.
Meanwhile, there is still no respite for motorists in Abuja, Lagos and other major cities and towns across the country, as the elusive petrol appears to be even becoming more difficult to get, with prices skyrocketing to between N200 and N250, especially in the suburbs.
This comes as the Group Managing Director (GMD ) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr.Maikanti Baru, shifted his promise of end to the queues within two days to the weekend, ostensibly as the queues persist in filling stations with product to dispense, while many owned by independent marketers remained closed due to non- availability of petrol, only to sell at night, in some cases.
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Adeyemi, who is also the General Secretary of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), said Nigerians must be prepared to say enough is enough and summon enough courage to resist more hardship that may be foisted on them by the current fuel scarcity.
On whether the labour movement would occupy Nigerian streets if the current scarcity were not resolved early in the New Year, Adeyemi said: “Why do Nigerians have short memories?”
In May last year when the price was moved to N145 per litre, the NLC moved to the streets and Nigerians refused to follow us. We went on the streets in Abuja and some Nigerians stoned us. Are Nigerians so quick to forget?
“Trade Union Congress (TUC) and some guys, who claimed they had another NLC and were claiming to be operating under illegal labour body, abandoned the struggle. They were hobnobbing with the federal government. They humiliated us. “But is history kind to them today? These were comrades that sold out. Today,18 months on, we are back to the same struggle they betrayed. We told Nigerians not to go to work, but they went. “So, Nigerians must pay the price, and they are paying heavily for it now . The NLC has been vindicated. No one can blame us for the ongoing hardship . We called them at that time, but they said No; they went to romance with government. This is where the romance has taken them.”
“It is not about the NLC not willing to lead the struggle if the need be, but Nigerians must now lead the struggle from the front . Though NLC can call a strike , NLC cannot prosecute strike or protest all alone; struggles can be prosecuted by the mass of the people.
“If Nigerians are not ready,, there is no problem, but Nigerians must know that the present leadership of the NLC is ready to lead when the people themselves are ready. ”