Politics

BREAKING: Akwa Ibom workers join protest against economic hardship

The Nigeria Labour Congress’s Akwa Ibom State chapter joined its counterparts in other federation states on Tuesday in demonstrating against the nation’s current economic woes.

Sunny James, the state’s NLC Chairman, who spearheaded the demonstration on Tuesday, bemoaned the fact that extreme poverty and adversity have pushed people to their breaking point.

Speaking to Mr. Udeme Otong, Speaker of the House, James urged him to push his colleagues to draft legislation that would solve the issues facing the populace and provide them with daily access to food.

He believes that laws without purpose or intended benefits are unnecessary given the state of the nation.

He said that Nigerians are suffering due to unfavorable policies of the present Federal Government.

“We are here to present our position to members of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly that they need to make laws in the direction of our problem, laws that will be beneficial to us. We don’t need laws that don’t make meaning to us.

“If the leaders are not willing to change the situation, we will force them to change the situation, how can we be buying a bag of rice at N95,000 and a cup of garri N500?

“In Akwa Ibom State, this protest has to be domesticated, we need our gratuity, we need our promotion arrears, we need our 2023 promotion to be released immediately, we need the CNG busses to work, we need our refineries to work, we need increase in our wages, we need the prices of our staple food to come down, we need to see rice from Ini, we need to see garri and tomatoes been sold at our secretariat here.

“We are presenting these proposals to the governor and we give him a timeline, if he does not listen to us, we shall gather again for a protest.”

The state’s commissioner of police and head of the DSS were also praised by the NLC for their cooperation and support, particularly for providing the demonstrators with superior security and seeing to it that everything went according to plan.

In response, Speaker Udeme Otong of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly called the protest peaceful and orderly and pledged to consider the NLC’s letter-based prayers.

He told the demonstrators that the governor would do everything in his power to alleviate their suffering and that the three laws that would be passed on Tuesday would lower living expenses relative to the prices of goods.

He added, “Be assured that no matter what happens you have somebody like me who is once a comrade you can rely on. I’ll ensure that all your demands as contained in this letter receive legislative action.

“Thank God we have a proactive governor who is on top of the situation. The three laws we are going to pass today will bring down the cost of living. The governor has assured me that he will meet with the leadership of NLC and TUC to address some of these issues.”