Nigerians should prepare for a mass action against any unfriendly government policies in the new year, Prof. Omotoye Olorode, a former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, has said.
The former ASUU chairman said Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, labour unions, market men and women, analysts and others are being mobilised to resist economic hardship in the new year, even as the federal government is planning to hike the prices of essential goods, such as fuel, gas, electricity and others.
Olorode’s spoke to The Guardian in on Wednesday in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, barely two weeks after the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC warned the federal government to prepare for mass protest across the country if it goes ahead to remove petrol subsidy.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed had in October hinted that the Buhari administration will end the fuel subsidy regime by middle of 2022. The minister, however, said poor Nigerians will be paid N5000 monthly as cash palliative to cushion the effects of removing fuel subsidy removal. Many Nigerians have rejected the planned removal, saying more people will be thrown into poverty.
Warning Nigerians to prepare for the inevitability, the don said Nigerians must be ready to resist any attempt by the Buhari government to impose more hardship on them through unfriendly policies. He said union leaders are prepared to lead the masses on a showdown with the government.
According to him, “We are mobilising against general economic hardship in the country. The trade and labour centres, civil society organisations, journalists, working-class people, market women and others should get ready.
“People should get ready for mass action against the increase of prices of items in the country and the proposal to increase price of fuel.”
In a letter by NLC General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, to the executives of the Union in the 36 states of the federation, two days ago, it directed members to embark on a mass protest against the federal government moves to increase fuel prices in the new year. The NLC said it will embark on a warning strike on January 27, 2022.
Titled ‘Congress Led Protest Rallies In All The 36 States Of The Federation On 27th January 2022 Against Plans By The Federal Government To Increase The Pump Price Of Petrol’, the letter requested that executives convene a State Executive Council, SEC meeting to strategise for the success of the protest.
The letter reads in part, “I bring you warm fraternal greetings from the Congress Headquarters while wishing you a merry Christmas, and a happy new year.
“You will recall that Congress held its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Friday, 17 December 2021, where some crucial decisions were taken.
“It is in furtherance of the said decisions that we write to inform you that 27 January, 2022, was picked as a day that Congress-led protest rallies will hold in the 36 States of the Federation, against the plans of the Federal Government to increase the pump price of petrol.
“You are hereby requested to convene a State Executive Council (SEC) meeting where you can map out strategies to ensure the success of the action in your state. You are also encouraged to reach out to our civil society allies in your state in your mobilization efforts,” NLC said.