Nigeria: Another Fuel Price Hike Coming – NLC

Nigeria The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has raised the alarm over moves by some functionaries of Federal Government to create avoidable labour and political crises by seeking to break up the congress and impose a new regime of fuel price hikes. Labour alleged that the President’s men have concluded arrangement to register a new labour centre, which they hope would support anti-people policies, and cause distraction in the labour movement.

The NLC, in a statement signed by its Acting General secretary, Comrade Owei Lakemfa, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to call affected members of his cabinet to order.

“ These hawks in government who see the NLC as being too powerful and capable of checkmating undemocratic and unpatriotic moves by the political class, have come to the conclusion that the best way out is to engineer internal ‘disagreements’ in the NLC, and hiding under this guise, to register a new labour centre which they hope will support anti-people policies and cause distractions in the labour movement. These government agents have even fixed July, 2012 as the registration date of their proposed new labour centre”, Comrade Lakemfa said.

The NLC therefore called on the President to call his men to order to avoid labour/political upheaval, as neither the government or their agents would be able to withstand the expected crises. According to him, it was the same agents who are also responsible for the anti-labour bill currently before the National Assembly.

He noted that the agents are myopic as they do not realise that the NLC is a major buffer against any unconstitutional or anti-democratic bid for power in the country.

“They do not recognize the fact that when the chips are down, it is the NLC, and not the political parties that are capable of mobilizing and getting tens of millions of Nigerians on the streets to defend our democratic project”, he reasoned. The NLC, has also called on trade unions who have enlisted for “this anti-people project”, as well as those that are being enticed to join the illegal project, to urgently retrace their steps as the NLCwould not allow the ranks of the working people to be split.

He said: “The NLC advises the trade unionists who have enlisted for this anti- people project, and those being enticed to join them, to retrace their steps as the congress will not allow the ranks of the working people to be split. The NLC and its allies put the working people on the alert for a struggle to stop this move”.

The NLC also called on President Jonathan to stop his officials who are engaged in renewed campaigns to further increase the price of fuel under the guise of a nebulous deregulation policy, which it stated that the House of Representatives had exposed as being fraudulent.

The Congress noted that the continuous waste of public fund on media campaigns, the enticement of youths and so-called Town Hall meetings was a criminal enterprise, and such fund must be put to better public use. The Labour house stated that the Presidency should see the January 9 to 16, 2012 strikes, mass rallies and street protests as a referendum by the people against a ruinous policy, and not a defeat for which the administration seeks a revenge.

“With the serious security challenges in the country, the heating up of the polity by politicians and rising poverty in the land, the NLC calls on President Jonathan to call the agents of his government to order on the twin issues of trying to break up the NLC by fiat and increasing fuel prIce. These are unnecessary battles which the government cannot win”, the Congress stressed.

“These hawks in government who see the NLC as being too powerful and capable of checkmating undemocratic and unpatriotic moves by the political class, have come to the conclussion that the best way out is to engineer internal ‘disagreements’ in the NLC, and hiding under this guise, to register a new labour centre which they hope will support anti-people policies and cause distractions in the Labour Movement. These government agents have even fixed July 2012 as the registration date of their proposed new labour centre.

The INEC said: “With the serious security challenges in the country, the heating up of the polity by politicians and rising poverty in the land, the NLC calls on President Jonathan to call the agents of his government to order on the twin issues of trying to break up the NLC by fiat and increasing fuel prIce. These are unnecessary battles which the government cannot win”. The statement added.

Culled: Daily sun

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