The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has retracted permission for organized labour to hold their May Day celebrations at the Eagle Square in Abuja, as part of their activities for International Workers’ Day, News About Nigeria reports.
The withdrawal was announced during a pre-May Day lecture held at Pascal Bafyau Labour House.
The Secretary-General of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, revealed that the FCT Minister sent a letter to the labour centre on Thursday, through his administration’s agency, citing preparations for the May 29 inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the reason for the retraction.
Comrade Ugboaja, however, dismissed the Minister’s reason as a flimsy excuse, saying that it did not bode well for the Nigerian working class’s struggle.
He advised workers to prepare for the worst on May Day, even though the retraction would have no impact on them.
The NLC Secretary-General noted that even though permission had been withdrawn, the May Day celebrations would go ahead in every part of Nigeria.
He stated that the withdrawal of permission had nothing to do with the Minister of Labour, and the government’s refusal to grant permission suggested that they did not value the contributions of workers.
Comrade Ugboaja expressed his disappointment that the government had taken such an action, given that several inaugurations had been held at Eagle Square in the past two decades.
He stated that the situation was a pointer towards an unfavourable future for Nigerian workers, and they should be ready to fight for their rights.
He further urged workers to prepare for the worst, saying that the government’s actions had not been encouraging.
The NLC Secretary-General said that workers must brace themselves to face the challenges that lie ahead. He encouraged workers to take the upcoming celebrations as a war cry and show the government that they were ready to fight for their rights.
He emphasized that the government’s retraction of permission was not a reflection of the workers’ value and advised workers to appreciate themselves for their hard work.