JUST-IN: Senate Engages Protesting Workers After Pulling Down NASS Gate

The Senate, on Wednesday, set up a committee to dialogue with protesting workers’ unions after forcing their way into the National Assembly Complex on Wednesday to protest fuel subsidy removal by the federal government.

The protesters in their hundreds had marched from the Unity Fountain in Abuja to the National Assembly Complex in protest against the “anti-poor” policies of the President Bola Tinubu administration.

Upon their arrival at the parliament complex, the protesters pulled down the first gate and marched on the premises.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, immediately entered into a closed-door session with lawmakers and upon his emergence from the meeting, said the Red Chamber had set up a three-man committee to meet with the protesters at the National Assembly arcade.

The committee was led by Senate Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South Senatorial District. He was joined by Senator representing FCT, Heebah Ireti Kingibe, Anambra South Senator, Tony Nwoye, among others.

The Senate also resolved that it will in the shortest time possible meet with the NLC and TUC leadership to find an amicable resolution to the current impasse.

The Senators were seen engaging Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Joe Ajaero; and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Festus Osifo.

The Organised Labour including the NLC, TUC and their affiliate unions, on Wednesday, kicked off a protest in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and other states of the Federation including Lagos, Abia, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Rivers, Zamfara, Katsina, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kwara, Ogun, Imo, Ondo, Abia and Edo, among others.

Recall that Tinubu had removed subsidy on petrol during his epic inauguration speech on May 29, 2023, with a litre of the petrol jumping from N184 to over N620 and food prices and general inflation galloping at an unprecedented rate.

Last week, the NLC issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government and demanded “the immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the federal government including the recent hike in PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) price, increase in public school fees, the release of the eight months withheld salary of university lecturers and workers”.

The union also demanded an upward review of the minimum wage from N30,000 to N200,000, saying that since the President’s “subsidy is gone” inauguration speech of May 29, 2023, the peace of mind of Nigerians has gone.

Several meetings between the Presidency and the unions on palliatives for Nigerians suffering hardship in the wake of the petrol subsidy removal proved abortive.

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