President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, says the workers’ union will embark on a three-day nationwide strike if the Federal Government still refuses to grant the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the end of the ongoing two-day warning protest.
The warning protest is organised by the NLC.
Speaking on Channels Television’s interview programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’, Wabba, added that the workers’ union embarked on a two-day protest against the ongoing ASUU strike because the lecturers’ industrial action directly affected the NLC.
According to him, “The two-day warning strike is to call for attention for the issues to be resolved promptly. The next level is a three-day national warning strike if nothing has happened after the protest, to show our grievances.
“We are not on a solidarity action, we are affected directly.”
NLC had decided to organise the two-day protest following the failure of series of negotiations between the FG and ASUU regarding the resolution of the strike.
Wabba stressed that the ongoing protest was a democratic norm which was constitutional and supported by international charters.
He added that such demonstration by workers on the streets was not illegal.
The NLC president said, “These are democratic norms everywhere in the world. Even as an individual, you have the right to air your grievances.
“It is within the provision of our law. It is backed by the United Nations charter for human and peoples rights, African charter for human and peoples rights, and it is there in our constitution — sections 39 and 40.”
Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had earlier declared the NLC protest illegal, arguing that it would cause anarchy in the country.
Similarly, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had also kicked against the NLC protest, claiming that the action negated international labour practices.
The Police had also insisted that the NLC needed a permit from the Force before it could embark on the two-day warning-protest.
But Wabba in his response said the court of law had pronounced that citizens needed not to seek permission from the police or any authority before protesting.
He said, “Even the court has pronounced that you don’t require any permission. It is legal and within your fundamental human rights to protest issues.
“When people say it’s illegal, I think people should remember that no condition is permanent. We have had some of our current politicians join the NLC to press for similar actions in the past.”