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HomeNewsPresidency: Labour Strike Illegal, Unjustifiable, Irresponsible, Not In National Interest  

Presidency: Labour Strike Illegal, Unjustifiable, Irresponsible, Not In National Interest  

NOSA EGHAGHA

ABUJA, Nigeria – The Presidency has described the decision by the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress to call out workers to commence a strike action from midnight, despite a restraining order issued last week by Justice Benedict Backwash Kanyip of the National Industrial Court as not just ego tripping but clearly unwanted. 

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, the Presidency expressed shock why the organised labour would want to punish the over 200 million Nigerians for what it termed ‘Personal matter’ involving the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, whose error of judgment led to assault on him in Owerri while he was planning to incite the workers in Imo State into a needless strike.

According to the statement, calling out workers on a national strike over a personal issue of a labour leader despite a clear court order against any industrial action amounts to an abuse of privilege.

“We notice with dismay the decision by the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress to call out workers to commence a strike action from midnight, despite a restraining order issued last week by Justice Benedict Backwash Kanyip of the National Industrial Court.

“This decision by the NLC and TUC other than being an ego tripping move is clearly unwarranted. It is an attempt to blackmail the government by the leadership of the NLC.

“We are still at a loss as to why the NLC and TUC decided to punish a whole country of over 200 million people over a personal matter involving the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, whose error of judgment led to assault on him in Owerri while he was planning to incite the workers in Imo State into a needless strike. 

“While the Federal government does not condone any form of violence and assault on any citizen of Nigeria regardless of his or her social and economic status, it is on record that the Inspector General of Police has ordered investigation into what happened to Mr. Ajaero, while the Commissioner of Police in Imo State under whose watch the incident happened, has been transferred out of the state. 

“Calling out workers on a national strike over a personal issue of a labour leader despite a clear court order against any industrial action amounts to an abuse of privilege. Power at any level should never be used to settle personal scores. Rather, it should be used to promote collective progress and advance national interest.

“Our national economy and social activities should not suffer because of the personal interest of any labour leader.  

While calling on the labour movement to maintain its status as a champion of rule of law and respect for the judiciary, the Presidency the flagrant disobedience to court order and lack of respect for the judiciary should not be what the organised Labour should be known for. 

The Presidency insisted that the strike action is illegal, immoral, unjustifiable and irresponsible.

“This flagrant disobedience to court order and lack of respect for the judiciary should not be what the organised Labour would champion. 

“The labour movement has always been a champion of rule of law and respect for the judiciary. It is a sad irony that the current labour leaders have shown disdain and utter disregard for court order. 

“We reiterate that this strike action is illegal, immoral, unjustifiable, and irresponsible. What the strike notice issued Monday night after official hours suggests is that it’s designed for a sinister and hidden agenda to cause undue hardship and cause civil disturbance in our country. This is unacceptable.” The statement reads in parts.

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