The Federal Government of Nigeria has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to abandon its planned protest over the prolonged strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other university-based unions.
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, made the appeal at a meeting with the leadership of NLC in his office on Thursday, NAN reports.
Ngige, in his speech, informed the NCL leaders about the Department of State Services’ report against holding a protest.
The minister urged the NLC to reconsider the planned rally as hoodlums might take advantage of it to cause a breach of security.
He also updated the NLC leaders on efforts so far made by the Federal Government to resolve the impasse in the university system.
The NLC had threatened to embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 to put pressure on the Federal Government to resolve the five-month-long strike by ASUU and other university-based unions in the country.
According to Ngige, “a security report also sent to his office by the Department of State Services (DSS), strongly warned against holding the protest, slated for July 26 and 27.”
“The masses might wrongly interpret the rally as a ploy by the NLC to enhance the chances of the Labour Party presidential candidate, a situation which could spur the supporters of the other political parties into violence.
“Section 40 of the constitution is clear on Freedom of Association. One of the provisions is that people of like minds can organise themselves and form a political party. There is also a provision that people in work or employment can organise themselves into unions. They’re two parallels. Parallels don’t meet.
“I heard when you said you are mobilising for Labour Party. But, a trade union is not a political party. Look at the Trade Union Act. It does not allow trade unions to use their contributions to support any political party.”