The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that it is well within its rights to hold a protest against the continued stay of students at home, following the failure of the authorities to reach an agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba in a statement recently stated that “it is elementary knowledge, that the right to peaceful assembly and protest is a fundamental global right guaranteed by the UN Charter on Human and Peoples’ right and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria”.
Wabba’s comment was in reply to a statement by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Lai Mohammed, suggesting that a proposed NLC protest in solidarity with ASUU is illegal.
Reacting further, Wabba said the proposed march is not a solidarity protest, adding that the NLC is directly involved in the current dispute in the nation’s university system.
“All the four trade unions involved are affiliates of NLC. Secondly, as citizens, our children have been out of school for 5 months, the majority are children of the working class and the less privileged, this alone should call for urgent action,” Wabba explained.
He emphasized that all peaceful assembly are lawful and does not require any permission under the law.
According to him, in a democratic society, such a statement as was uttered by the minister is not consistent with the rule of law.
It would be recalled that organized labor has slated July 26-27, 2022 to stage a nationwide protest to kick against the continued industrial action embarked upon by ASUU.