80 CSOs Withdraw From Planned  NLC Protest For Economic Recovery

In a united front, a coalition comprising over 80 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the umbrella of Lagos People’s Assembly (LPA) has earnestly pleaded with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and other groups contemplating protests in response to the current economic challenges in the country. 

The coalition, emphasizing the need for constructive engagement, believes that protests and strikes are not the solution to the prevailing economic hardship.

The coalition, representing a diverse range of interests including public interests, self-determination groups, and small businesses, expressed their ongoing struggle to recover from the aftermath of the EndSARS protest and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 At a press conference held in Lagos on Sunday, Gbenga Soloki, Executive Director of Campaign Against Impunity and Domestic Violence (CAIDV), and Nelson Ekujumi, Executive Director of Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), spoke on behalf of the coalition, urging the NLC and others to reconsider their plans for protests.

The leaders vehemently dismissed claims that the economic reforms initiated by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration were foreign-imposed, asserting that Nigerians themselves, with economic acumen, advocated for these measures to revitalize the economy. 

They highlighted the necessity for collaboration between the government and citizens to address economic challenges effectively.

Acknowledging the inevitable pains accompanying the new economic measures, the coalition pointed out the factors contributing to the rise in prices of goods and services. 

They were cognizant that some factors were within the control of both the government and the citizenry. 

In defense of the government’s efforts, the coalition commended the implementation of temporary palliative measures at both the federal and state levels.

They specifically cited recent initiatives by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration in Lagos State, including a 25% reduction in public transportation fares, a decrease in workdays for certain public workers from 5 to 3 days, and the opening of 42 Sunday markets for discounted food purchases. 

The coalition also acknowledged the establishment of a committee on palliatives, among other measures, aimed at mitigating the impact of economic challenges on the populace.

The leaders concluded by emphasizing the responsiveness of the federal government and local administrations in Lagos State to citizens’ concerns. 

As representatives of the Lagos People’s Assembly, which encompasses Nigerians of different ethnic, religious, and professional backgrounds living and doing business in Lagos, they joined their voices with other patriots and advocates of peace, urging the NLC to reconsider its planned two-day protest marches for the sake of national peace and security. 

The coalition remains optimistic that dialogue and collaboration will pave the way for sustainable solutions to the economic challenges facing the nation.

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