The Joint Action Front (JAF), the pro-labour civil society component of the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), will on Monday at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Lagos kick off a mass action against the new Lagos State Road Traffic Law.
In a statement in Lagos on Friday, JAF said the central issue of contention in the new law is the fraudulent listing of 475 inner roads in Schedule II which, while not originally presented as part of the Traffic Bill during the Public Hearing), was eventually signed into law by Governor Babatunde Fashola.
In flyers circulating statewide, JAF asks the following questions:
• Why should a government that says it is ‘progressive’ make a Traffic law to jail offenders 3-years when those who daily loot our collective wealth (that should have been available to create jobs and provide social wealth), are walking the streets and using the looted fund to undermine the law?
• Why is Lagos State Government (LASG) not interested in making laws for improvement in the social welfare of Lagosians?
• Why is it not making laws to enhance job opportunities and wealth creation?
• Why is Governor Fashola bent on laws that will further punish the poor masses?
• Why is the LASG NOT MAKING LAWS TO PROTECT THE POOR?
• Is it not true that the megacity project is not meant for the poor?
JAF further reminds the citizens of Lagos State that freedom is not given, but fought and won. It calls on them to dare to struggle and dare to win. “ARISE OKADA RIDERS, ARISE OKADA USERS, ARISE NIGERIANS, ITS TIME TO STOP THIS INJUSTICE AGAINST THE POOR!” the flyers say.
Monday’s mass action, which is expected to be a follow-up to January’s nationwide rallies against President Goodluck Jonathan’s arbitrary imposition of high fuel prices, will start at 8 o’clock in the morning at the NLC’s Yaba offices.
It will be recalled that in a statement on March 13, JAF declared that the unprecedented mass protests of January “cut across ethnic and religious boundaries, and put a lie to the use of religion and ethnicity by successive regimes and their cohorts to engender the perennial violence and insecurity in the country.”
• Is it good governance to use public office to get rid of the poor in a city of stark affluence of class allies of the government?