NLC, Activists Protest Economic Hardship, Hunger in Osogbo

Hundreds of protesters on Tuesday stormed major roads in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, to protest the economic hardship being experienced by citizens of the country under the current administration of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

The protesters, who trooped out as early as 9.00 a.m. in compliance with the directive of the National Headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), barricaded the roads and prevented free flow of both vehicular and human movements to make the demonstration more effective.

The demonstrators who first converged at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park later marched through Old Garage, MDS, and Sumbare and got the exercise terminated at the popular Olaiya Under Bridge.

Armed with banners, placards, and leaflets with different inscriptions that read: ” Osun, Osogbo: enough is enough,” “We say no to hunger,” “We are fed up with starvation,” “Let the poor breathe,” ‘Stop stealing palliatives meant for the working poor’; ‘End Insecurity’; ‘We reject devaluation of Naira’; and ‘No to anti-people policies’ among others, the protesters vowed not to retreat from demonstrating against what they described as a wicked and callous administration.

As a result of the exercise, many shop owners, traders, and some workers in the state vacated their shops and workplaces to join the protest as a necessity because of the untold economic hardship that had irrigated every nook and cranny of the country.

Also involved in the activities were the lecturers of universities, colleges of education, and polytechnics, including tertiary institution students in the state, artisans, commercial vehicle operators, Okada riders, technocrats and others from different circles.

However, the key major protesters were activists under the auspices of Dialogue 360, the Coalition for Revolution, the Joint Action Force, the Osun Civil Society Coalition, the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), and the Federation of Informal Workers, including youths in the state.

Addressing the protesting crowd, the state Chairman of NLC, Christopher Arapasopo, charged the
federal government to find solutions to the issue of high cost of living in the country.

According to him,” Even if there is food in the market, people don’t have the money to buy it. It’s no more news that sometime last year,there was a meeting between the federal government and the organised labour leaders in the country over the issue affecting the country.

“And an agreement was reached at the end of the day that ought to be implemented last year. We had a meeting comprising all states in Nigeria, and matters were raised, and a 14-day ultimatum was given to the FG for the implementation of the agreement signed.

“And we all resolved at the meeting that if, at the end of 14 days, the federal government fails to implement what was in the agreement, we’ll embark on a nationwide peaceful protest. The federal government should do the needful. We are all in Nigeria and see how people are suffering and their lives are being gone with the wind.”

However, there was heavy presence of security operatives, comprising men of the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Police, and Department of State Service (DSS), to ensure the exercise was not hijacked by hoodlums.