The indefinite strike by the organised labour Tuesday paralysed government and business activities at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and in most states.
The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress embarked on an indefinite strike on Tuesday in protest against the alleged assault on NLC President Joe Ajaero in Imo State on November 1.
Official activities across the six area councils of the FCT were grounded as workers joined in the strike action. Those who turned up at the secretariat of the FCT Administration were chased out of their offices by labour officials enforcing compliance.
Similarly, at the Federal Secretariat, only few civil servants were seen. Labour leaders had earlier stormed the secretariat to force the workers out of their offices.
- Nigeria eyes $50bn IDB’s African investment
- Senate mulls NIPOST privatisation, queries N18bn personnel cost
At Kwali, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Abaji area councils, public schools and hospitals were deserted as teachers and health workers stayed off work.
The secretariats of the Bwari and Abuja Municipal Area Councils were also under lock.
The headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company in Abuja was also deserted as labour leaders prevented workers from accessing their offices.
The strike also affected commercial activities at seaports in Lagos as port users at the Apapa Port and Tin Can Island Port were shut out, while freight forwarders were barred from entering by labour union members.
Comrade One Monije, spokesperson of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, Tin-Can Island chapter, said there was no justifiable reason for the strike.
“The rents and demurrage on consignment will be transferred to the public while government revenue still remains. It takes two weeks to reopen the seaport; importers will go to collect their consignment. And in so doing, will still have to pay government duty. So of what use is it,” she said.
She said the gates to Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports were locked by members of the union.
In Niger State, public schools and offices were shut in compliance with the strike. Students were seen return home after they were informed of the strike.
In Kaduna, many workers at the State Secretariat and the House of Assembly Complex were chased out by labour officials.
The office of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, the Barau Dikko General Hospital, banks and all government agencies were also deserted
Many workers in Benue State, apart from those at the Government House, did not show up at their duty post.
Meanwhile, some civil servants in the state berated the labour unions for not fighting for sacked workers in Benue who were meted the same treatment as their.
“But these union leaders are funny people; they suffered Nigerians because their president was manhandled in Imo. But what did the labour do concerning those people recruited by ex-Governor Samuel Ortom and who were laid off by current Governor Hyacinth Alia?”, asked a civil servant.
The strike also hindered government activities in Ekiti, Ondo, Kano, Delta, Bauchi, Adamawa and Ebonyi States as schools, banks and other public offices were deserted.
A resident of Kano State, however, asked, “Why should we shut down the country simply because the NLC chairman was attacked during an election rally? It doesn’t make any sense to me”.
In Edo State, bank customers were stranded as financial institutions joined civil servants in compliance with the strike order.
However, the Congress of Nigeria University Academics (CONUA), University of Benin chapter, distanced itself from the ongoing NLC strike, describing it as a “one-man decision”.
In Taraba, government offices and schools did not comply with the strike. Our correspondent who visited the state capital, Jalingo, met civil servants and bankers at work.
Suspend strike, NOA begs NLC, TUC
The National Orientation Agency yesterday appealed to the organized labour to suspend the strike.
NOA Director-General of the Agency, Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement, said suspending the industrial action was in the best interest of the economic growth and development of the nation at the moment.
“We are at a point in our national trajectory that requires a lot of caution and empathy for our people. We appeal for the utmost sense of patriotism which labour unions stand for,” he said.
Partial compliance in Lagos, Rivers, Oyo
The strike witnessed partial compliance in Lagos, Rivers and Oyo States.
Daily Trust observed that while schools, banks and the state secretariats were open to academic and business activities, most federal institutions including courts, universities and ports were affected by the strike.
In Rivers, our correspondent observed that banks on the entire stretch of Aba Road and the Azikiwe Road were all opened to customers; while school children and pupils were also seen in their classrooms.
Similarly, normal work activities were going on at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital as Doctors were attending to patients.
In Oyo State, academic activities were paralysed at the University of Ibadan as lecturers did not report for classes.
However, public and private secondary schools were not affected by the strike while the state secretariat was also opened for activities.
Daily Trust observed that banks, schools and other state-owned public institutions operated without hindrance in Lagos state.
BUK suspends exams, other academic activities
The management of Bayero University, Kano, (BUK) joined the strike yesterday and suspended the ongoing 2022/2023 first semester undergraduate examinations and all other academic activities until further notice.
The acting registrar of the institution, Amina Umar Abdullahi, in a special bulletin, said all students were asked to remain calm and await further directives from the management.
She noted that the ongoing examinations were half-way through “and as soon as the strike is over, the examinations would continue.
By Hussein Yahaya, Abubakar Sadiq Isah, Idowu Isamotu (Abuja), Abubakar Akote (Minna), Hope Abah Emmanuel (Makurdi), Maryam Ahmadu-Suka (Kaduna), Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado-Ekiti), Idris Jibrin (Kano), Usman A. Bello (Benin), Magaji Isa Hunkuyi (Jalingo), Idris Umar Momoh (Asaba), Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi), Amina Abdullahi (Yola), Nabob Ogbonna (Abakiliki), Eugene Agha, Abiodun Alade (Lagos), Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt) & Adenike Kaffi (Ibadan) & Umar Muhammed (Lafia)