In apparent disregard to the purported National Industrial Court injunction by the Federal Government to forestall tomorrow’s nationwide indefinite general strike, the organised labour and civil society group yesterday rolled out action plan to guide the operation of the strike, warning the Presidency that there is no going back.
Addressing the press under the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Lagos office in Yaba, General Secretary of the coalition, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, enjoined Nigerians not to be swayed by government’s fake injunction.
“The case of any fake court judgement is unknown to us and we cannot recognise an illegal government that now resorts to blackmail to force an unpopular and wicked decision on Nigerians,” he said.
He appealed to Nigerians to participate fully and ensure the success of the action, noting that all Nigerians and not only labour would enjoy the benefit when the price eventually comes back to N65.
“The gain is not coming to us alone, N18,000 wage cannot take anybody anywhere, the cost of living has really skyrocketed and that is the reason why we must resist this, it is a price we must pay for now,” he said.
According to him, LASCO’s detailed action plan for the declared indefinite nationwide mass rally and protest, which would take off from Monday, January 9, 2012, has sub-divided Lagos State into five zones to coordinate the mass action, and using the late Gani Fawehimi Park in Ojota as central terminal point for all protesters on major streets in Lagos.
Labour also said that other states of the federation have been sub-divided into zones to be coordinated by the respective state chairmen of NLC and TUC alongside civil society groups for effective mass rally from Monday.
He said, “The organised Labour in conjunction with the civil society coalition has mapped out strategic action plan for the mass protest to take off from Monday, January 9, 2012.
“In line with the action plan, all 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory have been sub-divided into zones so as to accommodate market women, students, churches, mosques and even the disabled at the grassroots to be able to participate in the indefinite strike.”
Lagos has been sub-divided into five zones, namely: NLC secretariat, Yaba; TUC Secretariat, Idi-roko; the office of Agric and Allied Workers Union+ at Iyana-Paja, the Textile Union Secretariat in Acme Road near Ogba, and the Lagos State University Campus in Oja, with the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota as central point of meeting after each day’s mass protest.”
According to Aremu, organised labour has directed “all state chairmen of both the NLC and TUC to set up monitoring units in all the sub-divided zones to ensure that all offices, workplaces, airports, seaports are effectively closed to business as long as the strike lasts.”
He, however, called on Nigerians to come out en-mass to support organised labour and civil society to effectively force President Goodluck Jonathan to revert the pump price of petrol to N65 per litre.
It would be recalled that Labour on Friday, January 6, 2012, denounced any court injunction stopping the planned mass action from Monday, January 9, 2012.
In a statement signed by Secretary of NLC, Comrade Owei Lakemfa, and that of TUC, Comrade John Kolawole, they said, “We want to restate that we have not been served any so-call court ruling stopping the mass action.
“As far as we are concerned, it remains a big rumour and a huge farce. It does not exist. We were in the office till very late on Friday and nothing was served. However, we remain law-abiding citizens and would take the necessary planned action from Monday.
“We do not see any provision in the NIC act that empowers the court to stop Nigerians from resisting evil governmental policies and practices. We do not therefore see how the purported ruling can stop the Nigerian people from this chosen popular course. We have gone through this charade before; Obasanjo travelled this road, Yar Ardua joined him in this same path and it seems the present government has not learnt the lessons of the past. Just as the past attempts failed, this attempt will also fail,” it added.
Labour therefore, “urges every Nigerian worker and all Nigerian people to continue mobilising towards the planned mother of all strikes kicking off tomorrow.