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Protests against high cost of living gain momentum ahead of NLC showdown on Tuesday

Today's slew of protests showed many Nigerians can't wait to hit the streets to demonstrate their displeasure over the economic situation of the country.

A protest organised by Nigeria Labour Congress. (TheNation)

The NLC has since last week been mobilising its members to prepare for its nationwide protests slated for Tuesday, February 27 and Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

Since President Bola Tinubu declared the removal of fuel subsidy in May 2023, Nigerians have been enduring economic hardship as prices of petroleum and other commodities skyrocketed across the country.

The economic situation of the country is worsened by the exchange rate crisis underscored by the free fall of the naira and the lingering food crisis, heralding the unbearable increase in the price of staple foods such as rice.

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The rising spate of insecurity further compounds the economic hardship in the country as bandits and kidnappers terrorise innocent Nigerians, kidnapping them for ransom.

However, in a bid to compel the government to address the economic challenges confronting the country, the NLC recently declared a two-day nationwide strike, but protests preceding the NLC demonstration showed many Nigerians can no longer wait to hit the streets to express their displeasure over the economic situation of the country.

While the NLC prepares for the Tuesday protests, Nigerians in Lagos and Osun State took to the streets on Monday, February 26, 2024, asking the government to address the prevailing hardship in the country.

In Lagos, the protest organised by the ‘Take It Back Movement’, a human rights group had hundreds of residents of the state gathered at the underside of the Ojuelegba bridge in the Surulere area of the state, carrying placards to express their pains.

Similarly, in Osun State, a group of activists in Osun State have hit the streets of the state capital in Osogbo, protesting against the rising cost of living.

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The group under the aegis of Joint Action Force, Coalition for Revolution, Osun Civil Society Coalition, and members of the Federation of Informal Workers in Osun State, faulted the Federal Government for giving the proceeds of subsidy removal to state governors.

Nigerians in Edo and Oyo States have equally staged protests to express their discontent with the situation in the country.

It would be that the protests against the rising cost of living started in Niger and Kano States earlier in February when residents of the northern states trooped out, blocking major roads and disrupting business activities.

Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) had recently, urged organised labour to shelve its planned protest, saying the demonstration could worsen the socio-economic conditions of the country and lead to crisis.

But in its reply to the security agency, the leadership of organised labour described the DSS’ appeal as ‘unsolicited advice’.

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The labour union insisted that the nationwide strike would hold, adding that the secret police outfit does not love Nigeria more than Nigerian workers.

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