The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has replied the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, for his comments on the alleged illegality of the union’s planned protest against the prolonged university workers’ strike.
NLC had announced a nationwide protest scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday should the government fail to reach an agreement with the striking workers unions.
But addressing journalists after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, Mr Mohammed said the protest was illegal as the government does not have pending disputes with the NLC
In a statement later on Wednesday, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, disagreed with the minister that the protest was illegal.
He said Mr Mohammed’s comments are inconsistent with democratic principles and the rule of law.
“It’s 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. All peaceful assemblies are lawful and do not require any permission under our laws. In a democratic society such a statement is not consistent with the rule of law.”
He also noted that NLC’s planned protest was not a solidarity protest, saying NLC is directly involved in the dispute.
“It’s not a solidarity protest, NLC is directly involved in the current dispute in our university system. All the four trade unions involved are affiliates of NLC,” he said.