By Akanimo Attang
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Akwa Ibom State Council has today, Friday, 25th September, 2020, solicited the support and partnership of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch ahead of its (NLC’s) planned nationwide strike on Monday, 28th September, 2020.
Speaking in a crucial consultative meeting with the State Chairman of CLO in the CLO’s office in Uyo, the Chairperson of the NLC in Akwa Ibom State, Comrade (Elder) Sunny James, sued for support from the international human rights group, saying that the strike is for the interest of all Nigerians.
The State NLC boss listed out the demands of labour from the State and Federal governments to include: the immediate reversal of the increase in fuel price, the immediate reversal of the electricity tariff hike, the immediate reversal of the increase in VAT, stoppage of incessant bank charges, promotion without arrears by Akwa Ibom State government, non-payment of gratuity to retirees by Akwa Ibom State government and non-payment of leave grant to workers by Akwa Ibom State government.
Comrade James said that workers in the State both in public and private sectors have been fully mobilised to ensure total compliance to the nationwide strike, which, according to him, is a protest against harmful policies of government against Nigerians particularly, the hike in fuel price, hike in electricity tariff and increase in VAT.
He appealed to the Chairman of CLO to support the strike action and to mobilise CLO’s members to join the protest in Akwa Ibom State.
In his response, the State Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation, Otuekong Franklyn Isong who was flanked by the Legal Secretary of the organisation, Comrade (Barr.) Eyibio Okon, thanked the State NLC Chairperson and members of his team for the visit to CLO’s office, assuring them that CLO and members of other human rights groups and civil society organisations in Akwa Ibom State have already resolved to be part of the protest in the State.
Comrade Isong noted that the protest against bad policies of government in the Nigerian State was long overdue seeing that the government has deliberately imposed unnecessary hardship, pains and sufferings on Nigerians.
The human rights activist called on the Muhammadu Buhari led federal government to fix the Port Harcourt Refinery, Warri Refinery and Kaduna Refinery, so that, the nation can end importation of refined petroleum products like fuel and others, while the government should encourage private refineries including modular refineries to be built in the country, if the government is serious about resolving the problem in the petroleum industry.
The good governance advocate said that members of the CLO across the State have been duly notified and mobilised to be part of the NLC planned protest on Monday, 28th September, 2020.