NLC urges Nigerians to join planned strike

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged Nigerians to join its proposed strike action against hardships trailing some reforms by the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

The NLC President Joe Ajaero said in an Independence Day message on Sunday, October 1, that the strike would be a march to freedom for citizens.

“It is time for Nigeria to rise and shine once more as a beacon of hope and prosperity for all its citizens. Remember, when we stand as one refusing to be divided, we will triumph! We call on all Nigerians to join us on the 3rd day of October around Nigeria to begin our march to freedom through the indefinite nationwide strike.

“To this end, the Nigeria Labour Congress beckons on all of us to join hands from all parts of the nation: the North, the East, the West and the South to build the needed coalition to make our nation truly an independent nation. This nation can work for all of us! This nation can be made beautiful, but good things do not just happen; they are worked out,” Ajaero noted.

He condemned the mismanagement of the nation’s resources by corrupt leaders, adding that the leadership crisis in Nigeria had hindered growth and development. Ajaero also decried the dollarisation of the country’s economy by its leaders.

“We need to find out whether truly a genuine foreign exchange market exists in its true sense in Nigeria. Why would the value of the nation’s currency continue a free fall when the value of accruals from crude is rising? What magic has made it difficult for the value of the Naira to remain stable against the dollar, especially when the dollar is being pummeled all over the world?” he asked.

Ajaero chronicled Nigerian problems, including corruption by its leaders, the collapse of the nation’s industries, the sale of national assets by leaders to their cronies while those assets turned out to have become moribund, acute poverty, poor infrastructures, decaying health and educational institutions, moral decadence and deteriorating insecurity.

The NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) declared an indefinite strike to commence on Tuesday, October 3.

The unions directed their affiliate bodies to comply with the directive after a two-day nationwide warning strike held between September 5 and 6.

The strike had several organisations acting in compliance, including electricity distribution companies, which left many residents in darkness throughout the period.

Before the warning strike, Organised Labour, including NLC, TUC and affiliated bodies, staged a nationwide protest against hardships facing citizens following the petrol subsidy removal and the exchange rate unification.

The protest held on August 2 was suspended on the same day following a meeting with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, during which the protesters were assured that their demands would be met.

However, in a national broadcast commemorating the nation’s Independence Day on Sunday, October 1, Tinubu announced a N25 increase for ‘average workers.’

The ICIR reports that the labour leaders are currently meeting with the Tinubu government’s delegation, headed by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the State House in a last-minute effort to avert the strike.

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

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