The two-day warning strike called by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Tuesday recorded high compliance in most states except Lagos where workers shunned the directive from the labour union.
There was also partial compliance in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The NLC had last Friday issued the two-day warning strike notice over the current hardship caused by the removal of the petrol subsidy.
Daily Trust observed that banks, hospitals, courts, tertiary institutions, telecommunication outlets as well as government ministries, departments and agencies were shut in compliance with the labour leaders’ directive.
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However, the strike recorded poor compliance in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria and the home state of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who celebrated 100 days in office, on the same day the industrial action commenced across the country.
While government offices, banks and hospitals in Lagos operated without disturbance, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) disrupted economic activities at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in compliance with the strike order.
The state chairman of NLC, Funmi Sessi, who noted that the strike recorded ‘reasonable compliance’ in the state, said the body expected full compliance by all affiliates today.
Shutdown in Edo, Kaduna, Benue, Kano, Jigawa, Delta
In Edo State, the strike paralysed activities at the state secretariat, Central Hospital, courts and other institutions.
Also, the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin, which was billed to give judgement on the Egor-Ikpoba Okha House of Representatives election, could not hold.
Speaking with journalists while enforcing compliance with other affiliate union members, NLC state chairman, Odion Olaye said the strike was total in the state.
Our correspondent reports that commercial activities were crippled in Kaduna metropolis as banks did not open their doors for customers in compliance with the strike action.
However, some banks operated secret skeletal services as NLC officers were seen monitoring compliance.
The Kaduna State Secretariat complex, which houses over six ministries was under lock and key.
Banks in Makurdi, Benue State capital, also closed their doors to businesses as some workers who resumed earlier were asked to go back home.
The state Chairman of NLC, Terungwa Igbe, went around to monitor compliance.
In Kano, the head office of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) was shut down by striking members of the NLC in an attempt to ensure effective full compliance with the ongoing two-day warning strike.
The Chairman of the Kano NLC, Kabiru Inuwa, told Daily Trust that they had embarked on the two day warning strike but would not hold any protest.
Students of Bayero University Kano (BUK), who had arrived for lectures were seen loitering around as lectures did not hold.
Similarly, institutions like the Federal College of Education, Kano and Kano State Polytechnic were closed just as other government ministries and parastatals.
Daily Trust, however, observed that markets and private business were fully functional with people going about their daily routine activities.
In Dutse, Jigawa State capital, the labour union also shut the state secretariat among other key agencies.
The state NLC Secretary, Abubakar Yushe’u, said the labour union also took to the streets to enlighten people about the strike.
In Niger State, the Federal University of Technology, Niger State College of Nursing Sciences, Old Secretariat, and banks among others in Minna were shut.
Our correspondent observed compliance in Nasarawa State as state and federal government owned institutions in Lafia metropolis were shut down by the workers.
The state police command also stationed policemen in strategic areas in Lafia and other parts of the state to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
Also, commercial activities in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital were grounded as banks, some filling stations and other commercial institutions along the busy Port Harcourt/Aba expressway, Odili, Abuloma, Sani Abacha and the Ikwerre roads were shut down as part of the warning strike.
Hospitals, ports affected
Medical doctors at the Warri Central Hospital and that of Asaba, both in Delta State, yesterday, refused to attend to patients.
Some patients, who spoke with our correspondent, said they had been left stranded at the Central Hospital because doctors told them that they were on a two-day strike.
Workers of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Warri were also prevented from entering the port premises.
At about 11am, NLC officials were sighted at the gate of the NPA, ensuring that the workers were not allowed entry into the port, in a peaceful atmosphere.
The state NLC Chairman, Goodluck Ofobruku, confirmed that “The strike action is in full force, taking its effect across the state. There’s compliance for all sectors in Delta State.”
CLO disagrees with strike
However, the South South Zonal Chairman of the Civil Liberty Organization (CLO), Karl Chinedu, said the rights group was not convinced with the position of the NLC to embark on the warning strike.
The CLO zonal chairman said the strike should focus on forcing the government to fix the four refineries, which have been grounded over the years thereby causing Nigerians untold hardship.
Workers flogged in Ondo
In Ondo State, government workers who refused to comply with the strike were flogged when officials of the NLC stormed the secretariat to monitor compliance.
Also, activities were shut down in the banks, financial institutions, hospitals and judiciary in full compliance with the directive of the union.
Our correspondent who monitored the activities of the union observed that a few of the workers who resumed work and ignored the directives of the union were “flogged” while others were sent back home.
Partial compliance in FCT, Ogun Bayelsa, Kwara
There was partial compliance in the FCT, Bayelsa, Ogun and Kwara.
While some FCT workers reported for work at the FCTA Secretariat, some government ministries and parastatals were locked.
One of our correspondents, who went round the city, reports that both commercial and public transport operators were on duty while private organisations opened for businesses.
However, few staff were seen at the Federal Secretariat as well as some federal ministries in partial compliance to the NLC’s directive.
Some filling stations also opened for business while few others shut theirs.
Some bank staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they opened their branches because there was no closure order from their head offices.
An official of NURTW in Jabi Park, who gave his name as Abdul, said there was no proper communication on the strike to its branch and that was the reason why their members did not join the strike.
He said once there is a directive from the national body, his members will join because ‘’the situation in the country is mostly affecting us.’’
In Bayelsa, some schools and banks were in operations against the insinuation that all financial institutions would join the strike action.
In Kwara, some commercial banks that had their gates under lock and keys in the morning opened for business later in the day.
In Ogun State, there was a partial compliance of the warning strike as our correspondent who visited the state secretariat at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, reported that many junior workers stayed away from the work.
However, senior workers who are members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) resumed work as they failed to observe the strike in line with the national body’s directive.
Commercial banks in the state also embarked on staggered operations.
Aviation unions ignore strike
Flight operations and other activities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and other airports went on smoothly.
Daily Trust reports that some of the unions in the industry opted out of the strike following the ongoing audit of the industry by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Our correspondent reports that the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) affiliated to Trade Union Congress (TUC) did not join the strike.
Similarly, the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), one of the aviation unions in Nigeria, also opted out citing the ongoing audit as an excuse.
From Abiodun Alade, Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos); Bassey Willie (Yenagoa), Usman A. Bello (Benin), Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin), Maryam Ahmadu-Suka (Kaduna), Peter Moses (Abeokuta), Hope Abah Emmanuel (Makurdi), Salim Umar Ibrahim (Kano), Ali Rabiu Ali (Dutse), Idris Umar Momoh (Warri), Kelvin Meluwa (Asaba), Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt), Tosin Tope (Akure), Abubakar Akote (Minna), Umar Muhammed (Lafia) & Adenike Kaffi (Ibadan)