No Going Back on Nationwide Protest, Labour Replies DSS

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DSS and Labour Union
Image showing DSS officials and Labour Union members protesting
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No Going Back on Nationwide Protest, Labour dares

The leadership of Organised Labour has responded to the Department of State Services (DSS) regarding its warning that the union should shelve its proposed protest scheduled for February 27 and 28.

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DSS had urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to reconsider their decision, citing the plea as being in the interest of peace across the country.

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In response to the DSS warning, NLC President Joe Ajaero stated that the DSS should not blackmail Organised Labour and arrest those intending to use the protest opportunity to incite crisis and, by extension, widespread violence.

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Ajaero described the upcoming action as a “peaceful protest against the unpardonable cost of living,” emphasizing that the Congress would not stand idly by while Nigerians continue to live in poverty.

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He stated, “We are concerned about 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, spiralling inflation, deepening poverty, and the Naira at an exchange rate of N1,900 to the .

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“According to the Service, the planned protest should be shelved ‘in the interest of peace and public order,’ presupposing that the action is intended to be violent and disruptive even when we have a history of peaceful protests.

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

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“According to the Service, ‘It is common knowledge that all levels of Government are striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and as such, should be given the 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.’

“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, they have not executed the arrest of these elements.

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“We are equally intrigued by the innuendos of the Service, their philosophy of ‘peace,’ and wild allegations, and we want to reassure them that no one loves this country more than us, and on our honour, we would never do anything that will compromise its sovereignty or security.

 

“Having said this, we would not have ourselves blackmailed or lied against by the Service. Our protest is a peaceful one against the unpardonable cost of living, of which the unserviced personnel of the Service are also victims. We cannot fold our hands and pretend all is well. That will be a grievous conspiracy that history will not forgive.”

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