Labour protest: Workers, ASUU shut down major roads in Ibadan

Labour protest: Workers, ASUU shut down major roads in Ibadan

From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Major roads around Agodi Government Secretariat, Mokola, and Agodi Gate were shut down for some hours on Wednesday as workers in Oyo State joined the nationwide mass protest in line with the directives of the national leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), over some policies of the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government.

The participants in the protest had conveged on the entrance of Oyo State Government Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, the state capital. They took off from the meeting point and staged the peaceful protest through Agodi Gardens to Mokola Roundabouts, to Agodi Gate and returned to the take-off point amid tight security.

Heavy traffic congestion and diversion of traffic were noticed in every part of Ibadan the protest was taken to. But the commercial drivers, who did not join the protest, expressed their solidarity with the protest, saying the hardship being experienced by people has become so much.

Though, the national mass protest declared by the NLC leaders started on Wednesday August 2, in Ibadan, workers in Oyo State had begun their protest since Monday July 31, against Govenor Seyi Makinde-led government in the state over issues that bordered on deductions from workers’ salaries, and purported failure to remit the deductions to approximate quarters, including cooperative societies.

The protest was staged under the umbrella of the NLC, and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The protest was joined by a human right activist, Mr. Femi Aborishade. He argued that the policies being evolved by President Bola Tinubu’s administration has been about the rich and not the masses. He contended further that the fact that the administration has set aside money for companies to thrive, is not about the masses, saying everything is about business.

While saying that the masses would not ride the buses that the administration planned to buy and put on the roads free of charge, he added that the people must pay for it, since it will be transport. He however, asked the Federal Government to revert te pump price of petroleum to N196 per litre.

According to him, the palliatives that the government is rolling out “do not address our suffering. The root cause of problem is the fuel hike. They should fix the refineries. He knows the looters. He should fight the looters. He knows them.

Removal of Tinubu is the solution to the problem.

The NLC chairman, Mr. Kayode Martins, in his address, noted that the government is not for the masses but for themselves, adding that both the Federal Government and State Governments, “have killed us, and they have killed local governments. They want to kill us through hardship under the guise of fuel subsidy removal.”

The Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, Bosun Olabiyi, said the protest was necessitated by removal of fuel subsidy, which has led to galloping inflation in the country. He added: “We had had issues with Oyo State Government before today. Governor Seyi Makinde must address us or we continue the protest. Some of our children should be in school, but they are not. We need free education.

The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan, Prof Ayo Akinwole, who was supported by another erudite scholar, Prof Ademola Aremu, of the same institution, said the union would not allow its members to be impoverished by the powers that be, hence the decision to join the protest.

Akinwole stated further: “We can’t continue to allow them impoverish us. We have been deceived for long,” adding that President Bola Tinubu has only made promises, but nothing concrete has been done.

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