A peaceful protest was carried out by the workers of the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu on Tuesday to protest against the proposed sale of the national monument and other Federal Government facilities.
The workers expressed their opposition to the proposed sale of the national assets by carrying placards with various inscriptions round the city.
The workers blamed the dwindling fortune of the 40-year-old monument on negligence and corrupt practices of past managers.
To generate revenue to finance the country’s budget for the next three years, Ben Akabueze announced that assets has to be sold.
The inscriptions displayed on the placards were: “National Theatre can work, we need repairs and not sale.’’ while others include:
“The Theatre community says no to sale of the Theatre”
“National Theatre must stay’’
“Government wants to sell our culture, it’s a shame. No, No, National Theatre must stay.’’
Mr Dayo Akogun, Branch Chairman, Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) made it known to the protesters that the proposed sale of the Theatre was condemned.
He further opined that poor management and corruption is responsible for the bad state of the monument.
“For the National Theatre to work effectively and generate funds, we need to tackle the challenges in the system”.
“Rather than promote its sale, what we need is patronage from reliable managers’’ he said.
Lagos State Chairman, Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), Mr Dare Durosimi said government should rather tackle the challenges affecting the monument instead of selling it.
Durosimi informed the protesters that their body RATTAWU is not involved in the new policy proposed and would support AUPCTRE’s decision to campaign against it.
The National Theatre consists of seven banquet halls capable of accommodating at least 650-5,000 individuals with all the lights, water and air-conditioners working effectively.
Security guards including Civil Defence personnel employed by the management are on patrol to secure the environment.
However, reports were given that the premises are overgrown with weeds.