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Planned Strike: Will Nigeria Labour Congress Betray Nigerians?



Nigeria Labour Congress

Is there a possibility that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) would betray Nigerians over the plaaned two strike to press home demands?

This is the question that has been hunting discerning Nigerians even while the clock ticks away with the deadline the NLC gave the federal government ticking away.

Whereas the sentiments of the generality of Nigerians from expressions in private and public places, is for the strike to go one, there are fears that organized labour may develop cold feet at the last minute.


Hint to this was also served yesterday after the Nigerian Civil Society Forum, warned the leadership of the union not to betray the trust and confidence of the Nigerian masses.

The convener of the Nigerian Civil Society Foru,  Dr Godwin Abutu, who gave the warning at a press conference, feared that organised labour in the country had, over the years, developed a reputation for disappointing Nigerian masses when it mattered most.

 “It has become imperative for us to react to recent threats by labour to embark on warning strike. The unionists who conveyed the laughable threats through NLC President, Joe Ajaero, at the NEC meeting raised lame excuse that Nigerians are hungry and they won’t condone it any longer.


“This is the same NLC/TUC that had made Nigerian workers to lose hope having sold out in all their negotiations with government since the time of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NLC”, Abutu said.

 “It is common knowledge that embarking on strike actions has not resolved any problem faced by the Nigerian masses. We are once again concerned that these groups (labour) may use their threats of warning strike to collect gratifications from the FG and betray the people as usual.

“Sadly too, many state governors, instead of standing with the people, are busy embezzling the palliatives meant for the masses. Yet, the NLC/TUC chapters in those states as usual did nothing.


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“About 24 hours ago, we watched with amazement how the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, announced that each state governor was given N30bn to subsidise food items to reduce the effect of hunger in the land. We are yet to see any of them take action yet”, the convener said.

Hunger in the land

On the other hand, there have been overt and open pressures on the Nigeria Labour Congress to rescind its decision or tinker with it

The United States chapter of the Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere has come out openly to persuade the NLC not to go with the stike.


It specifically advised Nigerians and the entire Southwest to ignore the call for a nationwide protest, saying this would worsen an already bad situation.

The group stated this in a statement signed by its president Dr. Duro Akindutire, adding:

 “Truly, we understand the economic situation of the country and its untold hardship on the citizens, particularly the masses with whom we identify.


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“However, we strongly feel embarking on any form of protest or industrial action during this period will be counterproductive as it is bound to worsen an already bad situation in the country.

“Also, while we recognize people’s legitimate right to protest, it is instructive to state that doing so during this period will do more harm to the country and the people than good. Holding a nationwide protest under the present circumstances could lead to a breakdown of law and order, including being hijacked by unscrupulous elements to cause havoc.


“Therefore, we advise the NLC to call off the planned protest in the interest of peace, and we also urge people in the southwest to shun the planned protest or any action that will further cripple the economy.

Recall that these problems were inherited from the previous administration, and with the understanding that governance is a continuum, President Tinubu has vowed to confront the challenges head-on, hence the need for us as a people to give him time to get it right.

As a matter of urgency, Afenifere USA also calls on the federal government to fulfil the electoral promises made to the people to rekindle their hope in this administration”


Elsewhere, officials of government have dug in seeking allies in persuading labour not to go with the strike.

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Some people believe those who are pleading with the Nigeria Labour congress are either “heavy eaters” in government or obviously out of their minds.


In public transport, the matter has been an open discussion for days now, with some equally expressing the fear that the strike may be scuttled, despite agreeing that there was need to prevail on the government to do something, not only to better the lot of Nigerian workers, but to totally ameliorate the general suffering in the country

The question still remains: Will Nigeria Labour Congress NLC Betray Nigerians?