A very low turnout marked the first day of the nationwide protests against the hike in the pump price of petrol by the Federal Government. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and civil society groups, on Tuesday, called on Nigerians to fully participate in the protest rallies and get the government to revert to the previous price of gasoline.
However, efforts to mobilize the mass have yielded little results as workers in the informal and formal sectors went about their businesses in Nigeria's commercial hub, Lagos. But the labour unions and civil society groups said they are not discouraged by the low participation of the public.
In Yaba area of Lagos, where the protest kicked off at 6am on Wednesday, the crowd was thin.
Efforts to mobilise more people did not yield results. However, the protesters continued. A group of protesters was sent to the local wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, where the gates were locked. Another group was sent to the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, where no protest took place as at the time of filing this report.
Reacting to the poor turnout, Comrade Emma Ogbuaja, NLC's Head of Department of Education, said: “We are not discouraged. The government can deploy all resources to destabilize us, we shall remain true to the struggle. No worker should fall for the government propaganda in the media. All workers should support the struggle. It is the right thing to do.”
Comrade Abiodun Aremu, Secretary of pro-labor Joint Action Front (JAF), also told the small crowd that industrial action is the major tool to get the government to do the wish of the masses. “We voted this government because we thought it was pro-people, but so far it has only brought hardship on the people. It is the masses that always suffer the draconic policies of the government. The government is taking from the poor to enrich the wealthy,” he said.