The notion that the proposed nationwide strike recently declared by the Joe Ajaero-led Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, is partisan and unfair to the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has begun to yield reactions from both members of political parties and the chapters of NLC.
The All Progressives Congress, through one of its Spokespersons, Bayo Onanuga, had accused the NLC President, Joe Ajaero and other labour leaders of playing politics with the petrol subsidy removal and attempting to destabilize the newly inaugurated government with the proposed strike.
Onanuga, in a statement on his official Twitter handle, asked Nigerians to ignore Ajaero’s call for a strike as he was privy to the fact that the government was going to remove the subsidy and was playing politics with the decision to go on strike.
He said: “The politically-tainted NLC, TUC, and NLC President, Joe Ajaero have asked workers to go on strike next Wednesday over the removal of petrol subsidy, despite being privy to the distressing financial figures, which justified why subsidy ought to have been scrapped a long time ago.
“My advice to the perceptive workers and the Nigerian populace is simply to ignore Ajaero and his ilk. He is playing politics and is acting the script of the opposition Labour Party, out to destabilize the young Tinubu’s administration.”
Similarly, the Yoruba Council Worldwide, YCW, has described the bid to embark on strike by the NLC over the removal of fuel subsidy, as an act of economic sabotage.
These allegations were also justified by the factional National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, LP, Abayomi Arabambi, who described the NLC’s decision to embark on a nationwide strike, over the removal of fuel subsidy, as hypocritical, anti-people and anti-development.
Arabambi in a viral video recalled that during the 2023 campaign when the LP Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, described fuel subsidy as organised crime and vowed to remove the subsidy if he becomes Nigeria’s President, the NLC who were part and parcel of Obi’s supporters and campaign, did not find anything wrong with it.
He accused the NLC of exhibiting double-standard and bias, noting that they are embarking on a nationwide strike over the removal of fuel subsidy, because it was Tinubu who won the election and subsequently, removed the fuel subsidy.
The LP Publicity Secretary however asked the NLC to call off its proposed nationwide strike as well as tender an unreserved publicly apology to President Tinubu and Nigerians for misleading them and attempting to cause crisis in the country, over the fuel subsidy removal.
Also, in line with this, the South-West and Northern Chapters of the NLC have reportedly pulled out of the proposed nationwide strike, owing to alleged partisanship of the NLC, over the fuel subsidy removal.
The NLC had intensified its mobilization for the proposed strike with a letter to its affiliates to inform them of its proposed action.
The letter signed by its General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, said: “We bring you greetings from the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress. You will recall that arising from the National Executive Council meeting held on June 2, 2023, it was decided that Congress will embark on a nationwide action and withdrawal of services, against the fraudulent increase in the prices of fuel across the thirty-six states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the FCT.
“Please be informed that the nationwide action will commence on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. To this effect, all national leaders are expected to mobilize their members for the action and ensure full compliance with the directives as services in both the public and private sectors are expected to be fully withdrawn by Wednesday, June 7, 2023. All Presidents and General Secretaries are expected to help ensure the implementation of the decisions of the National Executive Council.’’
But reports have it that the proposed nationwide strike for Wednesday, has experienced a major setback, as the South-West and the Northern Chapters of the Union have pulled out of the proposed industrial action.
According to Thisday, members of the NLC in the South-West and the North have resolved to pull out of the proposed industrial action due to alleged politicization of the strike.