ASUU Strike: Ngige Wants NLC to Shelve Planned Protest
By Ozumi Abdul
The Federal Government has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress to shelve it’s planned protest over the lingering strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other university-based unions.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made the appeal on Thursday at a meeting with the leadership of NLC in his office.
Ngige, in his speech, updated the labour leaders of efforts so far made by the Federal Government to resolve the impasse in the university system.
The NLC had on July 17 announced that it would stage a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 to pressure the Federal Government to resolve the five-month-long strike by ASUU and other university-based unions.
In a press statement signed by the Head of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, the minister reminded the NLC leadership that he incorporated them into the tripartite conciliation going on in his ministry, and being aware of efforts of the government to resolve the impasse, they cannot embark on any rally or protest.
According to him, a security report also sent to his office by the Department of State Services, strongly warned against holding the protest.
He said, “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.
“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.”