NLC suspends nationwide strike after meeting with FG

MEMBERS of Organised Labour have suspended their nationwaide strike action on Wednesday, November 15.

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the National Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), called off the strike on Wednesday night.

“The NEC of the NLC and the TUC have suspended the strike. We did this based on our trust for the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, who gave us his words,” National Deputy Vice-President of the TUC, Tommy Etim said.

The suspension comes after meetings with the Minister of Labour Simon Lalong and National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu.

The NLC, TUC and affiliated unions declared a nationwide strike on November 7, which took effect on Tuesday, November 14, following Ajaero’s attack.

The ICIR reported that the NLC president was captured and brutalised during the workers’ protest in Imo State on Wednesday, November 1.

Upon his release, he emerged with a battered face and was quickly rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, for medical attention

On November 3, the unions issued a five-day ultimatum to the federal government demanding the replacement of the Imo Police Commissioner Mohammed Barde over his alleged involvement in the attack on Ajaero.

The attack was also blamed on the state governor Hope Uzodimma, who was seeking re-election at the time.

In retaliation, members of the union staged protests at the Abuja and Owerri airports, on Thursday, November 9.

The unions also called for the arrest and prosecution of some of the governor’s aides and threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action if their demands were not carried out.

Hope, however, emerged winner of the elections and claims that he was not involved in the attack.

A few days after the attack, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun redeployed Barde from the state.

The NSA on Wednesday, November 15, urged the Organised Labour to call off the nationwide strike, expressing concerns over the implication of the action.

He added that some of Ajaero’s attackers have been arrested, and were being investigated.

“The NSA is particularly worried about the implications of the strike action on the livelihood of ordinary Nigerians and its potential impact on economic security and other strategic national interests. As attested by the NLC leadership, the NSA immediately intervened on learning about the travails of the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joseph Ajero who was assaulted in Owerri, Imo State.

“The NSA regrets the incident and condemns it in its entirety as it was against the rule of law and the principles of freedom of association and expression subscribed to by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his administration,” Ribadu noted in a statement.

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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