The Nigeria Labour Congress, or NLC, called off the two-day warning strike yesterday in protest of the “negative effects of the removal of the fuel subsidy on workers and other Nigerians,” claiming that there was higher compliance on day two than on day one.
This came as the strike disrupted electricity supply in the South East, stalled tribunal judgement in Ogun and grounded Bayelsa and Kebbi states among others, while federal ministries in Abuja remained empty yesterday.
NLC, in a circular to its affiliates and state councils last night by its President, Joe Ajaero, while directing members and affiliates to return to work today, commended members across the country for sending a serious message to the Federal Government their resolve to continue fighting for better living conditions.
According to the circular, “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 emphasize our strong conviction that the government should prioritize 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.
In the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, offices of federal ministries located at the popular federal secretariat remained shut as civil servants failed to report to work in full compliance to the directive of the Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC,which began on Tuesday.
Virtually all the federal ministries, including those of of health, education, humanitarian and poverty alleviation,agriculture, solid mineral development, among others, remained deserted.
A staff of the federal ministry of education who spoke on grounds of anonymity, claimed that she came to work in disobedience to NLC circular to stay away because she didn’t know the action was going to be very effective.
Activities in Osun State remained crippled, just like Tuesday, with most parts of the state capital without electricity supply as workers in the sector abandoned work.
Similarly, courtrooms at both the State High court and Federal High Court premises were also empty as judicial workers’ union complied fully with the directive.
There was no electricity supply in Osogbo, Olorunda and Ede-North local government areas visited by Vanguard correspondent from 8am till 4:33pm when this report was filed.
In the same vein, government activities were grounded in Ondo State as workers stayed away from work
A visit to the ministries and government parastatals in the state showed that the gates remained shut.
Some of the banks which did skeletal duties, on Tuesday, shut their gates yesterday.
Also in Ogun State, the strike stalled a judgement by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State because judicial workers in the state shut the gate of the court in Abeokuta.
The tribunal had fixed Wednesday (yesterday) for the judgement in a petition filed against the senator representing Ogun West, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola.
In Imo State, three officials of the state chapter of NLC were allegedly arrested by operatives of Imo State police command, while monitoring the level of compliance.
Those arrested were James Chukwudi, a member of the state NLC Caretaker Committee; the state secretary, Nduka Aniukwuojior, and the state woman leader, Mrs Margret Ogbujor.
However, the strike disrupted power supply in South East as the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, Plc explained that the reason for the loss of supply in parts of its network was due to the strike by NLC.
It said the development resulted in the shutdown of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, stations feeding its injection substations.
The head of corporate communications of EEDC, Emeka Ezeh, who disclosed this in Enugu yesterday, confirmed the affected TCN stations as New Haven, Ohiya, and Egbu transmission stations.
Civil servants in Bayelsa State also stayed away from their offices again yesterday in compliance with the warning strike.
The state secretariat complex and its annexes were shadows of their usual hustles and bustles.
At the state secretariat complex, some officials of NLC were seen enforcing the warning strike.
Government hospitals were not spared, staff stayed away from their duty posts but doctors were on ground to attend to patients at the Federal Medical Centre,Yenagoa.
In Kano, despite pleas from the Kano State government, public offices in the state and other facilities remained closed yesterday
The Vice Chairman of NLC in the state, Ado Riruwai, confirmed that government offices and other facilities remained closed.
Kebbi State, which recorded partial compliance on the first day of the strike, witnessed total lockdown yesterday.
NLC leadership in the state was said to have re-mobilised all affiliates of the union to shut down state secretariat, banks, markets and hospitals.
The compliance enforcement team forced all banks in the state to stop operations till further directives were given by NLC national secretariat.
In Katsina State, banks, schools, hospitals, ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, remained shut yesterday, “However, the situation at the Federal Teaching Hospital Katsina, formerly known as the Federal Medical Centre, was somewhat different.
Inquiries revealed that the hospital carried out skeletal operations as a few doctors attended to patients. Aauxiliary workers stayed off work in response to the two day warning strike.“Hamisu Hussein, chairman of Katsina State chapter of NLC, expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance observed across the state.
He said: “The strike in Katsina recorded full compliance. Banks, schools, hospitals all participated in the two-day warning strike.”