Hunger: Edo NLC joins nationwide protest, security operatives take over public institutions

Edo NLC chairman, Odion Olaye (with microphone) leading the protest

Edo NLC chairman, Odion Olaye (with microphone) leading the protest

Hunger, Edo NLC, Nationwide protest, Security operatives ,

By Jethro Ibileke

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate unions on Tuesday joined their counterparts across the country to stage a peaceful protest against the high cost of living.

The protesters who were armed with placards of various inscriptions, marched from the busy Kings Square, Sapele Road and to the Edo State Government House, where they presented their demands to the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

The placards bore inscriptions such as: “End naira devaluation and support local production; free education not student loan; stop robbing the poor; tax the rich, end hunger/poverty; reject IMT and World Bank policies; government, please put a stop to all inhuman actions and policies and the masses need to breathe.

The State Chairman of the NLC, Odion Olaye, said the protest was to draw the federal government’s attention to the plights of Nigerians, especially the economic hardship the people are passing through in the country.

He urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to urgently put measures in place to address the economic hardship in the country

He, however, urged members of the union to embark on the protest peacefully, noting that hoodlums should not be allowed to hijack the process.

Meanwhile, security operatives in the state took over some public institutions to forestall possible hijack of the protest by hoodlums.

The operatives who were in their numbers include the Nigerian Army, Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Edo State Security Networks (ESSN).

They were stationed at the main and Ekehuan campuses of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), all in Benin City.

The Ekehuan campus of the University of Benin entrance gate and Ugbowo were taken over by personnel of the Nigeria Police and Edo State Security Network, while operatives of Nigerian Army stood guard at the Nigerian Correctional Service gate.

Police operatives were also stationed at the premises of the Nigerian National Museum, the take-off point of the protest.

Receiving the protesters, on behalf of the state  Governor Godwin Obaseki, t

The State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, who received the protesters on behalf Governor Godwin Obaseki, said the state government was in support of the protest.

He commended the NLC for the peaceful nature of their protest.

Nehikhare noted that the Governor Obaseki-led government had recently held a meeting with market women and traders on the need to find a way to reduce the high cost of food stuffs in the state.