Falana-led Coalition Set for September 23 National Protest

Femi Falana

The Alliance for the Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond, (ASCAB) has asked Nigerians to participate in the September 23 Day of Action set by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

ASCAB said it would mobilise civil society to join the protest tagged “Enough is Enough,” in support of working people and poor Nigerians who face the daily agony of survival.

ASCAB took the position yesterday in a statement made available to THISDAY.

It said the event is to show public discontentment against fuel price and electricity tariffs hike, which continues to push many Nigerians to the edge of frustration and desperation.

In the statement signed by ASCAB Chairman and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), the coalition said it had mobilised millions of Nigerians to stage a day of action against government’s horrendous economic policies

Falana said the civil society has joined in setting aside September 23 as a “warning shot” ahead of more popular actions that will be taken to protest the country’s economic hardship.

At the last general meeting of ASCAB, the TUC leadership had briefed the coalition on the decision of its NEC that fixed September 23 as a day of action.

ASACAB said it would go along with the TUC while waiting for the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) to join after its Wednesday meeting.

ASCAB said on that day, workers will show national solidarity and speak with one voice against the repressive policies of the federal and state governments.

The group said the protest will register public outcry against widespread hate killings, banditry, terrorism, illegal arrests and detension in the country which the Nigerian authorities have failed to address.

“We call on all Nigerians, workers, farmers, students, traders, the poor and the defenseless people alike, women, men, young and the aged to come out on September 23 to show their disdain against institutionalised poverty, hunger, deprivation and the country’s slide into a cesspool of anomie in the face of violence and spineless killings” the statement said

The group said the government policies have further impoverished Nigerians and fuel their desperation to survive even if it means breaking the law and the societal values.

It said the fuel hike at a period of COVID-19 pandemic when many workers have lost their jobs and millions are placed on half salary is wicked and inhuman.

It recalled also that by the judgment of the Federal High court, in Aturu v. Minister of Petroleum Resources & ors, Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/591/2009, judgment indicated that any fuel hike other than that of the president is null and void.

The federal government has not appealed the judgment and it remains subsisting and bibding.

ASCAB said the policy of deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry by which the prices of petroleum products would not be regulated and fixed by government has been held to be unconstitutional, illegal null and void.