The labour unions in the country had commenced an indefinite strike on Wednesday, May 18, to ask for the reversal of fuel pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol from the N145 which the removal of fuel subsidy pegged it.
This was in spite of a court injunction restraining them from carrying out same action, especially after the federal government, in a meeting with the union leaders on Tuesday night, had agreed to have a committee to review the fuel pump price and the minimum wage issue.
There was an impediment on their movement in Lagos as police officers tried to stop them from moving towards Airport Road in Ikeja area of the state, but the unionists told the security operatives that they were supposed to support and not stop them in the struggle.
NLC strike: protests rock Abeokuta
One of the placards on display on the first day of the industrial action.
And even when a vast majority of Nigerians decided to ignore the industrial action and stay at home, the protesters insisted that their demonstration on the first day for sensitisation of Nigerians.
To compound matters, only a handful of states complied with the directives of NLC’s national body as there have been reports of discord within the caucus of the union but the union insisted Wednesday, that their members would storm the streets on Thursday until their requests have been granted by the federal government.
“There will be no work tomorrow (Thursday) because we are all in this together and it is because of the people that we are on the streets.
“Believe me, we shall be more than this number tomorrow because other members will join us. We are not alone in this struggle, it is about the suffering masses, the oppressed, the downtrodden,” one of the union leaders said during the first day of the protest.
In the statement signed by Peter Ozo-Eson, NLC’s secretary general, the union added: “No level of comfort today or primordial sentiments should blind us to the cruel realities of the increase in the pump price of the petroleum products as what we are seeing is just the beginning.”
The unionists have since asked their members and other Nigerians to converge at Berger roundabout in Lagos on Thursday morning, but there were no details from the meeting point as at the time of putting this article up.
13:35′ Protesters have also taken Abuja by storm as union workers stormed the streets in the nation’s federal capital. But there was also a pro-Buhari rally in the same area where the agitators were protesting.
13:23′ And the pro-Buhari challengers…
13:02′ First set of images from the Lagos protest emerge online as union workers storm major roads in major centres.
11:20′ The Kogi State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has also joined the nationwide action following a directive by the national body of the academic union.
Kogi State University joins the struggle.
10:24′ Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned Nigerians of their actions against the NLC, stating categorically that they would need the unionists some day.
10:20′ Rivers state chapter of the NLC is also expected to join the protest today as a Twitter user informed that the workers were expected to converge at about 10am on Thursday morning.
9:31′ Although there are no reports of labour union leaders gathering anywhere, there are feelers that the strike is more comprehensive today.
9:04′ People are seen going about their routine activities in many parts of Lagos; Iyana-Ipaja, Badagry and other parts of the state. Even school children have since resumed.
8:48′ In Zamfara, workers were said to have left for their places of work as early as 7am as they defied orders of the NLC to stay at home.
8:44′ There are no reports yet of anyone gathering at Berger roundabout, where the union leaders have been asked to meet in Lagos.