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Unklare Lage in Nigeria: Zwei Gewerkschaften akzeptieren Regierungsangebot, Zivilgesellschaft und eine sozialistische Gewerkschaft Joint Action Front ruft auf, den Streik bis zur völligen Rücknahme der Kürzungen fortsetzen – Nachricht von CNN und Aufruf vom Blg der Joint Action Front

Januar 16, 2012

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Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) — Two Nigerian labor groups suspended their nationwide strike Monday over the elimination of the country’s fuel subsidy and urged demonstrators to go home „in order to save lives and in the interest of national survival.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress cited successes gained by demonstrators, including an announcement Monday by President Goodluck Jonathan slashing fuel prices, in its announcement suspending the strikes.

„In the past eight days through strikes, mass rallies, shutdown, debates and street protests, Nigerians demonstrated clearly that they cannot be taken for granted and that sovereignty belongs to them,“ NLC President Abdulwahed Omar and Peter Esele, president of the Trade Union Congress, said in the statement.

But a third organization, the Joint Action Front, issued a statement deploring the suspension and urging continued strikes and protests until the government agrees to restore gas prices to what they were before the government ended the subsidy.

„Nigerians should not be discouraged by the abrupt and unwarranted suspension of strike by its Labour partner; neither should the militarization of the protest centers deter Nigerians in their resolve to rid the polity of this class of looters and profiteers that are responsible for mass poverty, unemployment, social insecurity and untold hardships of the majority of Nigerians,“ JAF Secretary Abiodun Aremu said in the statement.

In an earlier statement on the group’s blog, Aremu said the group and a related organization, the Labor and Civil Society Coalition, had decided Sunday that they would continue their strikes and mass protests after talks with the government failed.

„However early this morning, our joint leadership advised Nigerians to continue the strike but (said they) should stay at home in view of the resolve by the Federal Government to unleash violence on Nigerians who want to exercise their right to protest and procession,“ Aremu said in the statement.

The Joint Action Front is part of the National Labour Congress and has organized many of the protests and rallies against the government’s decision to end the fuel subsidy.

On Monday, the government deployed troops in Lagos, and military forces set up armed checkpoints at most key bridges and along major roads. Eyewitnesses told CNN that police and the army were not allowing protesters into demonstration zones, but there were no confirmed reports of violence.

Scattered demonstrations began in Nigeria after Jonathan announced on January 1 that the government would end the popular fuel subsidy, which was widely seen by citizens as one of the few perks of living in the oil-rich but largely impoverished nation of more than 160 million people.

The government has said the removal of subsidies would free up billions of dollars to boost the economy and improve the country’s infrastructure.

The removal caused the price of fuel and other goods to spike and became a rallying point for Nigerians angry over corruption and the alleged misuse of oil revenues in a country where most citizens battle grinding poverty.

Fuel that had cost about 65 nairas (40 cents) before the subsidy was lifted rose to 141 nairas (86 cents).

On Monday, after more than a week of protests, Jonathan announced in a speech that the government would reduce fuel prices to 97 nairas (60 cents) per liter. He cited „the hardships being suffered by Nigerians.“

Aremu rejected the Nigerian government’s concession and said his group would only accept a return to prices before the government cut the fuel subsidy.

„The people have every right to tell the presidency and this class of looters and profiteers that Nigeria belongs to Nigerians,“ Aremu said.

It was unclear Monday whether the Nigeria Labour Congress or the Trade Union Congress would accept the fuel-price cut and call for a permanent end to the strikes and protests.

Last week, a major oil union, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, had threatened to halt production in solidarity with protesters if the two sides didn’t reach an agreement.

A move to halt production would reverberate on the global market. Nigeria is the world’s eighth-largest crude exporter.

Charlie Robertson, a chief economist at the global investment firm Renaissance Capital, said earlier this month that a subsidy removal could help Nigeria in the future.

„If they’re prepared to try this petroleum subsidy removal then perhaps they can push through electricity reform, too. If they do that, Nigeria’s growth can be, instead of 7%-8% a year, 10% or 11%,“ Robertson said.

But there is a widespread lack of trust in the government to provide the infrastructure; Nigeria is regularly ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world.

Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Nigerians should not let the past determine the future. She said the goal now is to regain the citizens‘ trust and move forward.

„They cannot say because of mistakes in the past the country should not move forward,“ she said.

Monday, 16 January 2012
JAF DEPLORES THE SUSPENSION OF THE INDEFINITE STRIKE/MASS ACTION
JAF DEPLORES THE SUSPENSION OF THE INDEFINITE STRIKE/MASS ACTION

Monday, January 16th 2012
PRESS STATEMENT
JAF DEPLORES THE SUSPENSION OF THE INDEFINITE STRIKE/MASS ACTION
JAF stands with NIGERIANS on Reversal to N65
THE STRUGGLE MUST CONTINUE!
1. The Joint Action Front (JAF) – the pro-labour civil society partner of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) and its allies of Nigeria Medical Association Lagos, Nigeria Bar Association Ikeja and Lagos and the various Strike Action Committees dissociate self from the declaration by the President of the NLC and TUC for the suspension of the Strike/Mass Action that commenced on January 9th as a joint initiative of the NLC, TUC and JAF.
2. While we salute Nigerians for their resistance and legitimate demand for TOTAL REVERSAL OF FUEL PRICE FROM THE WICKED IMPOSITION OF N141 to N65, we strongly deplore the suspension of the Strike/Mass Action as endorsed by Presidents of NLC and TUC as a betrayal of this legitimate demand by Nigerians that fuel price must revert to N65 as a condition for negotiation.
3. JAF and its allies are resolved to intensify the struggle for the reversal to N65 and on other fundamental issues, in particular, the reversal of the cruel policy of PRIVATISATION and DEREGULATION. This was demonstrated with the street protest in Lagos today under the banner of JAF that was violently terminated at a point on Ikorodu road by the combined team of armed personnel that were deployed midnight across the country.
4. Also, JAF wishes to inform all our centres across the country to continue with the MASS ACTION of rallies and protests as held today in Ibadan, Kano, Ilorin, Kaduna, Ijebuode Ogun State, Osogbo, and other places we are still compiling the report.
5. JAF urges Nigerians to continue with the MASS ACTION of street and neighbourhood protests and rallies in the various Freedom Squares created across the country since the commencement of the Strike/Mass Action on January 9th 2012.
6. JAF wishes to reiterate its commitment to the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people. Nigerians should not be discouraged by the abrupt and unwarranted suspension of strike by its Labour partner; neither should the militarisation of the protest centres deter Nigerians in their resolve to rid the polity of this class of looters and profiteers that are responsible for mass poverty, unemployment, social insecurity and untold hardships of the majority of Nigerians.
· Nigerians must be reminded that JAF declared the commencement of the MASS ACTION against the wicked hike in fuel price on January 3rd, 2012 and is committed to rallying Nigerians to defeat this unpopular imposition, and also eensuring a new POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ORDER that will end the era of Privatisation, Deregulation, looting and exploitation by the corrupt capitalist ruling cabals and ensure that wealth of the country is judiciously applied to benefit the majority working population (formal and informal sectors) and the poor.

COMRADE ABIODUN AREMU
JAF Secretary

http://www.jointactionfront.blogspot.com/

 

JAF REJECTS THE UNILATERAL IMPOSITION OF N97 AND MILITARISATION OF NIGERIA BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

PRESS STATEMENT

1. We have listened to and read the address of President Goodluck Jonathan in response to the legitimate demand of the people of Nigeria for the TOTAL REVERSAL OF THE WICKED HIKE IN FUEL PRICE FROM N141 to N65.
2. The Joint Action Front (JAF) and the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) reject in its entirety the N97 offer which was unilaterally fixed by the President and his team of economic saboteurs.
3. We commend the leadership of Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and Joint Action Front, all Nigerian workers, activists and the masses of our people for sustaining the struggle to liberate our people from the imperialist economic policies of privatisation, deregulation, devaluation of the naira and corruption. We urge all Nigerians to comply and enforce THE INDEFINITE STRIKE/MASS ACTION and continue the PROTEST AND MASS RALLIES in major centres and their various neighbourhoods. Also, all banks, filing stations, markets, schools, factories, offices and other public and private businesses should be closed.
4. It should be recalled that at the mass meeting of JAF/LASCO held at the Labour House, Yaba on January 15, 2012, we resolved to continue mass protests, street rallies and blockade of the neighbourhoods as a way of enforcement of the Strike/Mass Action irrespective of the outcome of our leadership meeting with the Federal Government yesterday.
5. However, early this morning, our joint leadership advised Nigerians to continue the strike but should stay at home in view of the resolve by the Federal Government to unleash violence on Nigerians who want to exercise their right to protest and procession. In view of this, JAF urges Nigerians to set up rallies and protest centres in their various neighbourhoods whilst the NLC Yaba remains the central Co-ordinating center in Lagos. Same should apply at other centres created across the country since the commencement of the Strike/Mass Action on January 9th, 2012.
6. We are not unaware of the militarisation of the various locations with armed soldiers and policemen. That cannot abrogate the right and freedom of expression and peaceful assembly granted by the Constitution of Nigeria. We therefore ask Nigerians to remain peaceful and unprovoked by the presence of soldiers and armed policemen. They should continue the protests and rallies in their respective neighbourhoods until the government accepts the decision of the people to revert back to N65. Aluta Continua, Victoria Acerta!
Comrade Abiodun Aremu
Secretary, Joint Action Front & Joint-Secretary Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO)
January 16, 2012

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