ABUJA, Nigeria – For failing to yield to the demands of the organised labour, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Tragde Union Congress (TUC), have ordered its members to withdraw services nationwide and shutdown the nation indefinitely beginning from 12:00 AM on Tuesday, November 14.
According to the TUC President, Festus Osifo, who briefed journalists in Abuja, this directive became imperative following government failure to meet the demands of the labour regarding the recent attack and brutalization of President of NLC, Joe Ajaero in Imo State.
The directive was issued yesterday despite the National Industrial Court (NIC), who on Friday, restrained the two labour centers and their affiliates from embarking on the planned nationwide strike.
Recall that the NLC President, Joe Ajaero was arrested and brutalised by suspected thugs in Imo State while leading a protest to demand workers’ right in the state.
Although the organised labour had accused the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, of mobilising the thugs and the officers who attacked and arrested the NLC president to frustrate the planned strike in the state, the governor denied involvement.
Similarly, the Imo Police command was also fingered in Ajaero’s ordeal as he accused them of handing him over to the thugs to be brutalized, an allegation, which the Police earlier refuted, saying that Ajaero was not arrested but was taken into protective custody to avoid being lynched by a mob.
On his part, Uzodinma, who has just been re-elected governor in the state, blamed Ajaero for his alleged partisanship in the state.
Speaking on Monday, Osifo said “The two Labour centers have resolved to stand firmly by the decision of the joint NEC that was held last week Tuesday. That effective, 00:1 hours, on the 14th November we shall declare a nationwide strike.
“So, effective tomorrow, or midnight today, a nationwide strike is going to commence. All affiliates of TUC, all affiliates of NLC, all state councils of the two centers have been mobilized adequately and this is going to be indefinite until governments at all levels, wake up to their responsibilities. This is the decision of the joint NEC of NLC and TUC and we are going to carry out to the latter.
Last Tuesday, Labour threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action over the recent attack of the NLC president.
It also ordered its members to immediately withdraw services and shutdown Imo state indefinitely.
To suspend the strike, the labour centres are demanding: investigation and deployment of the Commissioner of Police in Imo; sack of the Area Commander of the Police and all other Officers and Men in Owerri through whom the Police Commissioner supervised the the attack; as well as the arrest and immediate prosecution of Mr Nwaneri Chinasa, aid to Uzodinma.
They also asked for an immediate, independent and unbiased thorough professional medical examination of all victims of the attack; immediate restoration of all properties lost and urgent implementation of all the outstanding Industrial Relations agreements previously entered with the state government.
Although, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, last weekend, redeployed Barde for what he tagged “neutrality sake” ahead of the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Imo State.