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TUC Hits Back at Tinubu’s Criticism of Labour Unions

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a swift response to President Bola Tinubu’s recent criticism of labour unions’ engagement in Nigerian politics.

During the inauguration of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line project, President Tinubu expressed his dissatisfaction with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and TUC’s alleged interference in political matters. He admonished their involvement in orchestrating protests early into his administration, cautioning against their perceived dominance in public discourse.

In a televised interview on Channels Television, TUC President Festus Osifo reaffirmed the citizens’ right to peaceful protest, characterizing it as a cornerstone of democratic governance. Osifo challenged President Tinubu’s assertion of refraining from active politics until 2027, citing the current socio-political climate in Nigeria.

“I listened to that comment yesterday where he [President Tinubu] said that we should wait till 2027 if we want to contest for election.

“For me, I can speak for the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria. For us, we’re not politicians. We are unionists. The right to protest is the fundamental right of every Nigerian.

“We don’t have issues with protest. When need be people must exercise their rights. People must protest. In terms of waiting till 2027 to enter into politics, I don’t think…I as an individual don’t belong to any political party. I’m not a card carrier of any political party.

“What I’m interested in is the welfare of my members and indeed the entire Nigerian masses. For me, what the President said is alien to us because the right to protest and the right to strike is that of the workers.

“There are lingering issues. The fact that you’re going to protest or strike something led to it. Those fundamental issues should have to be addressed.”

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