Governor Oborevwori commends workers for peaceful protest

Peter Utebor

DELTA: Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Delta State Chapter have commenced and join in the nationwide protests over the removal of petrol subsidy and hardship in Delta State and other part of the country.

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, in Delta State, joined the nationwide protest by organised Labour against the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu without due consultations.

The State Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Goodluck Ofobruku, his TUC counterpart, Comrade Martin Bolum and the Deputy President, RATTAWU, Comrade Innocent Ofuonyeadi, led members of their affiliate unions in the protest, which started from the Labour House, through NTA road, Okpanam road to Government House, Asaba.

The NLC had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the federal government to reverse all “anti-poor” and “insensitive” policies.

The Delta Chapter of the Nigerian labour Congress NLC have said Delta will be part of the Nationwide protest today August 2 because Delta is part of workers affected by hardship and also Delta is part of NLC.

The protesting workers carried placards with different inscriptions implying dissatisfaction with the subsidy removal and the attendant hardship on the people, chanting solidarity songs as they marched through the streets.

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In a position paper presented to the State Governor, Mr Sheriff Oborevwori, at the Government House gate, the State NLC Chairman, Comrade Ofobruku, accused the Tinubu administration of insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians, especially the workers whose salaries were fixed.

The union also called on civil societies organisations (CSOs) and its councils across the state to join in the nationwide rally to protest the soaring cost of living in the Delta state.

The Efforts by the federal government to halt the planned strike and protest failed. During his inaugural address on May 29, President Bola Tinubu announced that the petrol subsidy regime was over.

The pronouncement immediately led to a hike in the pump price of petrol, a quadrupling of transportation costs in certain areas, and ballooning inflation across several market segments.

In a nationwide broadcast on Monday, Tinubu reeled out palliatives that would cushion the impact of the petrol subsidy removal on the masses.

The NLC Chairman called on Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori to take the position of Delta state workers to President Tinubu and urged the Governor to urgently put in place measures that would alleviate the sufferings of the workers and Deltans in general.

Comrade Ofobruku thanked the security agencies for being on the side of the workers by ensuring that the protest was not violent nor hijacked, assuring them that the protest was in the interest of all Nigerians.

According to the Delta State Chairman, NLC, Comrade Goodluck Ofobruku, “We held a meeting and we decided that based on the directive of our national executive council that we should mobilise. It is not a strike action, but it is a protest action because there is a court directive that we shouldn’t go on strike yet, even though we do not like the court order, giving us order against the constitution of nigeria that gave us right to go on strike.

“I was part of those who took the decision to go on the protest, we are fully mobilised, we have to protest because of the anti-workers’ policy putting by the government fighting hard on workers in delta state, so we have to protest, there is no doubt about it.

“But we want to get that order of the court vacated first. Meanwhile, we are protesting against the action of the government because the constitution gave us rights to protest against bad government policies.

We have held our meetings and we have disseminated information, the workers are fully mobilised here. in fact, other civil organisations, societies are with us here, they have to joined us because they are also affected, they mobilised their people to take to the street in asaba with us

“Asaba is the state capital, for now everybody had to mobilised here, to take the protest in asaba because asaba is the state capital.”

Meanwhile, addressing the workers, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, represented by his Chief Policy Adviser, Rt. Hon (Chief) Funkekeme Solomon, thanked them for their peaceful conduct, which he said was the best way to go about their grievance.

“The Delta state NLC chairman, Comrade Goodluck also said, today is not strick action, but a Protest. We’re Protesting against govt action, policies fighting hard on workers in the state

“The NLC at the national have said that it’s not a strike action but a Nationwide protest against government action and bad policies fighting hard against workers.

“The Governor admitted that the removal of fuel subsidy had made life increasingly difficult for Nigerians, especially the workers, and assured them that the Delta State Government shared in their pains and would do everything possible to ameliorate the situation.”