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Nigerian Labor Warns of Government Crackdown on Eve of Demonstrations

Nigeria is set—as the economic situation in recent weeks has gone from unbearable to life-threatening—for a definitive confrontation as the united labor front plans to demonstrate against the repressive monetarist policies of the Tinubu administration, beginning Feb. 27-28.

Originally called for by a united front of the Nigeria Labor Congress and the Trade Union Congress, on Feb. 9, the two-day march and demonstration is in response to government inaction on demands agreed to in September 2023, at the end of a two-day national strike. That strike had been repeatedly postponed by earlier empty promises on Tinubu’s part, throughout the summer of 2023. With labor leadership both wise to the lies and no longer willing to take “come back later” for a reply, Tinubu has dropped the facade and brought out the big guns.

“We are concerned by the unsolicited advice of the Department of State Security to shelve our planned protest,” the NLC said in a Feb. 21 release. The protest was called, leaders said, “against the unprecedented high cost of living [and] indescribable suffering in the land, spiralling inflation, deepening poverty and the naira at an exchange rate of N1,900 to the U.S. dollar.”

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