Coronavirus: Lockdown extension will likely trigger unrest - NLC warns
- The Nigeria Labour Congress has issued a serious warning against the extension of the current lockdown imposed on some states
- Ayuba Wabba, the NLC president, argues that if the current lockdown is further extended there would likely be unrest
- The NLC also faulted the federal government's palliative provided to the poor and called for an expansion of the social register
Following the governors' agreement to impose an inter-state lockdown for two weeks, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday, April 22, warned against any further extension of the lockdown.
NLC president Ayuba Wabba in a letter addressed to Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, warned that the situation would likely get out of hand if the lockdown is extended, Daily Trust reports.
In another report by ThisDay, the letter which was dated Tuesday, April 14, and signed by Wabba, also warned that the lockdown extension beyond one month may trigger social unrest.
Wabba pointed out that the states under total lockdown are Nigeria's economic and administrative nerve centres.
He said: “Within the first two weeks of the lockdown in some parts of the country, there were widespread acts of civil disobedience, inducement of law enforcement agents to gain passes and even various forms of violent crimes. No one is sure how long this dam would hold.”
The NLC went on to fault the palliative provided for the poor and vulnerable affected by the pandemic. Wabba urged the task force to include other social partners in consultation for the stimulus package.
He added that the labour union should also be included as a critical social partner in the inter-ministerial economic response team.
He said the organized labour would set up a situation room that would interface with the inter-ministerial committee on policy interventions and recommendations on post-COVID-19 economic response.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that governors of the 36 states of the federation on Wednesday, April 22, “unanimously” agreed to impose an inter-state lockdown in the country over the next two weeks to check the state-to-state spread of COVID-19.
The governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) reached the agreement after receiving a briefing from the governors of Lagos, Bauchi, Oyo and Ogun states who shared their experiences and lessons from the fight against COVID-19.
A communique issued by the NGF chairman and governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi, at the end of the virtual meeting said only essential services would be permitted.
In other news, the director-general of the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that President Muhammadu Buhari will make some difficult decisions on COVID-19 containment next week.
Ihekweazu made the statement while on a courtesy call to the Katsina state governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Masari in his office at Government House Katsina.
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