March 2, 2024

‘There must be protest, we’re not politicians’ – TUC replies Tinubu

‘There must be protest, we’re not politicians’ – TUC replies Tinubu

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has reacted to a remark by President Bola Tinubu, where he advised labor unions to halt their protests and instead participate in the political process in 2027.

Tinubu made these remarks on Thursday in Lagos at the inauguration of the Lagos Red Line project.

He said, “The labour union should understand that no matter how much we cling to our freedom and rights… to call for strike within nine months of an administration is unacceptable.

“If you want to participate in the electoral process, wait until 2027. If not, maintain peace; you are not the only voice of Nigerians.”

Responding to the President’s comments on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, the President of the TUC, Festus Osifo, stated that members of his union are not politicians and emphasised their right to protest.

He said, “I listened to that comment yesterday where he said that we should wait for 2027 if we want to contest for elections. I could speak for Trade Union Congress, we are not politicians, we are unionists, it is our right to protest – it is a fundamental right of every single Nigeria.

“So we don’t have issues with protests, when need be, people will exercise their rights and people must protest. In terms of waiting till 2027 to enter into politics, I don’t think that is something we could dabble into because I as an individual I am not a card-carrying member of any political party.

“What I am interested in is the welfare of my members and indeed the entire Nigerian masses. So, what the president said for me is alien to us because the right to protest and the right to strike is that of the workers.

“There are condition precedents, for the fact that you are going on protest or strike, there are some things that led to it, those fundamental issues must be addressed.”