ASUU strike: NLC’s planned nationwide protest illegal- FG
The federal government says the protest planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in solidarity with the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is illegal.
The NLC had announced that it would embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 to compel the government to resolve the over five-month-old strike.
Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, said the protest will create anarchy in the country.
He spoke on Wednesday while briefing state house correspondents after the weekly meeting of the federal executive council (FEC) at the presidential villa, Abuja.
“The NLC is not a political party. The NLC can go on strike or protest if the rights of NLC members are involved. What the NLC is planning in the next two days is about interest,” he said.
“There’s no dispute whatsoever between NLC as a body with the federal government. Well yes, there’s a dispute between some members of NLC, ASUU and the federal government which is being looked into. And NLC itself is a party to the committee that is looking into the solution. So calling out people on street protest, you begin to wonder, what is the motive of NLC in this matter?
“But you see here, we do not interrogate what NLC is doing. NLC by its own laws, cannot even give out pamphlets. And NLC is supposed to be completely insulated from politics. Now, if you declare dispute with us, yes you can go on strike. Even that one would depend on whether certain steps have been taken or not. But this particular NLC… you know, asking and mobilising people to come out on strike on July 26 and 27, is clearly on nothing.
“The federal government is as worried as NLC and everybody, but the law is the law. What I expect NLC to do as an umbrella body is to find solutions, to join federal government in finding solutions.
“They are part of the tripartite [committee] that has been negotiating with federal government on this ASUU issue. So why are they now going out to take sides?
“I think you should also interrogate it yourselves. I think it is popular to get NLC out and support but ask yourself how does that help the problem? How does that solve the problem? What you are going to create is more anarchy. And I think the NLC should think twice about their proposed strike in solidarity with ASUU.”
The minister added that the federal government is not “doing nothing” about the strike.