The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has ended its two-day warning strike, directing its members to resume work today.
The congress described the participation of its affiliate unions in the warning strike as a “show of undaunted and resilient commitment to defend Nigerian workers and citizens against man-made economic hardship”.
It urged the affiliate unions to stand by for the indefinite strike, should the Federal Government refuse to take effective action to ameliorate the suffering of workers occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy.
A statement yesterday in Abuja by NLC President Joe Ajaero reads: “We write to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our dedicated affiliates, state councils, and esteemed members for their unwavering support and active participation in the recent two-day nationwide warning strike.
“This collective effort was undertaken to emphasise our strong conviction that the government should prioritise the welfare of our citizens and adhere to our established statutes.
“We are pleased to report that, thanks to your resolute commitment, we have made significant strides in achieving the goals set during our National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which prompted the initiation of this warning strike. It is abundantly clear that our united message has resonated loudly with the government, and it would take a truly inattentive ear not to hear it.
“As we mark the end of the two-day nationwide warning strike today, at the stroke of midnight, we earnestly call upon you all to gracefully conclude the strike and return to work tomorrow (today), in accordance with our initial agreement…”
Our correspondents report that the warning strike was successful in some states but flopped in others.
In Sokoto State, the NLC hailed its members for complying with the two-day warning strike.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Sokoto, the State NLC Chairman Abdullahi Aliyu said: “Our workers and other affiliates of the NLC have shown dedication and commitment toward ensuring the success of our struggle for better living condition for all.
“We will continue to remain on our oath to support the government to achieve the desired economy that will provide food on the table of the poor and the general public.”
In Enugu State, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) said the warning strike caused the loss of supply in parts of its network.
The distribution company said this resulted in the shutdown of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) dtations feeding its injection substations.
EEDC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, announced this yesterday in Enugu.
He said the affected TCN stations are: New Haven, Ohiya, and Egbu transmission stations.
According to him, the development affected power supply to EEDC’s customers under Ogui, Abakpa, Umuahia, Owerri, New Owerri, Orlu, and Mbaise districts, feeding from the affected TCN stations.
In Ogun State, the warning strike prevented the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital, from delivering its judgment on the senatorial election petition for Ogun West.
The state’s judicial workers locked out the tribunal members.
In Lagos State, most workers ignored the warning strike as they went about their businesses.
Banks, schools and other business concerns opened fully to customers and the state secretariat in Ikeja was fully open for work.
The Ikeja Under-Bridge axis to the House of Assembly, the usual starting and terminal spots for protests, did not have the usual large crowd.
Traffic was smooth except for the usually “go-slow” in some areas across the state.
Also, the Plateau State NLC Chairman Eugene Manji said the warning strike achieved its aim.
Manji, who spoke with The Nation yesterday in Jos, the state capital, said: “Every arm of the labour force complied: the state and federal secretariats’ workers complied. Banks and corporate organisations across the state also complied. We went round to enforce compliance, where necessary. So, it was successful in the state.”
In Adamawa State, a task force set up by the state chapter of the NLC shut down many offices that opened yesterday, mostly in Yola, the state capital.
The task force, which was led by NLC State Vice Chairman Usman Babbada, also had leaders of some affiliates of the umbrella union.
They ensured that members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) did not work at their offices.
The task force locked up the two High Court complexes in the town, forcing the Election Petitions Tribunal in the state to suspend activities.
The enforcement team also stormed the state secretariat complex where the few workers on duty were chased out.
Members of the team parleyed with some permanent secretaries on why they too should comply with the warning strike.
In Abia State, government offices and public institutions across the 17 local government areas shut down operations.
Our correspondent, who monitored compliance in Aba and Umuahia, reports that affiliate members of the NLC as well as some financial institutions closed down their services.
Residents who needed money used the Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
Commercial bus drivers had low patronage as government workers, especially, did not come out to report for work.
This led to lower number of commuters during the period of the warning strike.
In Kwara State, there was partial compliance with the warning strike.
Banks, which opened in the morning, shut their gates, while junior civil servants joined the strike action.
The State NLC Chairman Muritala Olayinka did not answer his calls or reply to messages sent to his mobile phone for comments.
But the state Chairman of National Union of Agriculture and Allied Employees, Kayode Ehindero, said his union supported the action.