The Nigeria labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, have suspended the nationwide indefinite strike embarked upon in protest against brutalisation of NLC president, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State on November 1, 2023.
A source at an emergency joint National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the leaders of the two labour centres in Abuja last night, said the suspension was to pave way for more negotiations on issues that caused the strike.
The source said the strike was suspended because of the intervention of the federal government through the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA.
The National Security Adviser, NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, had at an earlier meeting held at Aso Rock, personally apologized on behalf of the government for the attack and brutalisation of NLC President, Joe Ajaero.
A source at the meeting said: “He (NSA) also told us that suspects have been arrested and that detailed investigations would be conducted. We have no reason to doubt his sincerity because without his intervention, probably Comrade Ajaero would have been killed.“
He assured us that such act of violence and misconduct would no longer be tolerated. We knew that the strike is biting government very hard because today (Wednesday), was more effective than Tuesday and there were signs that tomorrow (today), would have been more effective as more unions had joined.
“So, they (government) did not want it to continue because like they said, it is worsening the already fragile economy, among others, and national security.
“On our part, we faulted the labour minister who was in attendance, alongside the minister of state for labour, for not apprehending the strike. We made him to understand that if he had intervened, probably we would not have got to this stage.
“We told him that there was no word or statement from the ministry, condemning what happened in Imo when the issues are purely labour issues.
“He said we did not communicate to him officially and that if we had communicated to him officially, he would have known what to do.“
‘But we told him that once an ultimatum has been issued, it is his responsibility to apprehend the strike because the issues are industrial relations matters.
“Again, by this strike, we have made the point that our right to strike cannot be denied us. The National Industrial Court, NIC, cannot be a cover for government to perpetuate all kinds of impunity and lawlessness. Nigeria is signatory to the International Labour Organization, ILO, conventions and the right to strike is core.