The Senate recently passed a resolution imploring organised labour to halt the ongoing national strike for the sake of the country’s interests. The motion, championed by Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, emphasised the need for reconsideration amidst the escalating strike initiated by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Academic Staff Union of Universities, and Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, among others. The strike stemmed from the alleged assault on the NLC president during a campaign in Imo.
Sen. Bamidele highlighted that the strike’s demands primarily revolved around alleged political involvement rather than the welfare of Nigerian workers. He underscored concerns that the labour’s agitation was linked to political events involving the president, who hails from Imo. Additionally, Sen. Adamu Alero emphasised the Senate’s responsibility to safeguard the nation’s economy and urged intervention for a prompt resolution.
In a parallel narrative, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) Director-General, Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, urged both the government and organised labour to consider the severe economic implications of their ongoing actions. Oyerinde strongly condemned the brutalization of the NLC president, emphasising the disproportionate impact of shutting down the national economy amid a precarious economic state.
Malam Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, urged the NLC and TUC to end the strike, expressing concerns over its potential ramifications on Nigerians’ livelihoods, the economy, security, and broader national interests. Ribadu also condemned the attack on NLC President Mr. Joe Ajaero in Owerri, emphasising the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and freedoms of association and expression.
Ribadu reassured that the Federal Government was conducting thorough investigations into the incident and would bring the perpetrators to justice. He urged the labour leadership to cease the strike and allow ongoing dialogue to resolve it. The appeals from the Senate, NECA, and the National Security Adviser reflect a collective plea for dialogue and resolution in the ongoing labour crisis, prioritising national interests and economic stability.