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Lagos govt urges TUC to shelve, strike, says it’s a ‘needless’ protest



The Lagos state government has urged the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned protest scheduled for Monday in the state saying it was not only “needless” but unnecessary.

The TUC, in a statement on Friday by its President, Festus Osifo, had announced a one-day protest scheduled for Monday in Lagos over government’s ban on the operation of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

Osifo had cited the failure of the governor to obey an existing court order that reinstated activities of RTEAN in the state as grounds for the protest.

The protest by the TUC is a fallout of a September 2022 suspension of the RTEAN by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as a result of violence in parts of the state by members of the union and the Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrators (LASPGA).

Read also: Lagos park administrators ask TUC to abort planned protest in support of RTEAN

In April 2023, a national industrial court in Lagos ordered the reinstatement of the transport association.

The presiding judge, Maureen Esowe, had ruled that the suspension of the union’s activities by the government was illegal and restrained the state from interfering with the operations of the union’s executives.

Osifo who addressed journalists in Lagos, lamented the LASPGA’s decision to put RTEAN’s offices across the state under lock and key and threatened that the union will embark on the strike if the state government refused to unlock the RTEAN’s offices.

However, in a statement on Sunday night by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, the government said the proposed protest was unnecessary as the government had appealed against the judgment and “has a pending application for a stay of execution of the said judgment.”

Omotoso accused the TUC of using the protest threat to “arm-twist and intimidate the government.”

The protest, he said, will be in breach of the rule of law which expects both parties to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the application for a stay of execution and appeal.

“The planned protest is of no need and is meant to arm-twist and intimidate the government, considering all the efforts being made to resolve the matter amicably.

“TUC/RTEAN should embrace dialogue. It is better and safer for our economic and social well-being,” Omotoso warned.

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