The National Labour Congress (NLC), and Trade Union Commission (TUC), yesterday suspended the nationwide strike, following a meeting with the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, and other government representatives.
A statement by the Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Makut Macham, confirmed that the meeting was attended by Ribadu; Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong; Minister of State, Nkeiruka Onyeajeocha; Acting Permanent Secretary in the NSA’s office; and Director, Trade Union Services, Ministry Labour and Employment, Emmanuel Igbinosa.
The labour leaders were led by TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo; NLC Secretary General, Emmanuel Ugboaja; TUC Secretary General, Nuhu Toro; and a host of others.
The suspension of the strike was announced in a joint statement signed by the NLC, General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, and the TUC, General Secretary, Nuhu Toro.
The statement reads in part: “This suspension is intended to facilitate further discussions after the federal government had met our crucial demands to address the distressing abduction and brutalization of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, and others.
“These incidents occurred at the hands of the Police and Governor Hope Uzodimma’s thugs in Owerri, Imo State, on the 1st day of November 2023.
“An apology was tendered on behalf of the government by the NSA, who promised to coordinate the investigation. Some of the perpetrators have been arrested and we were given High assurances that all others will be fished out and prosecuted.”
It added: “Therefore, all affiliates and State councils of both the NLC and TUC are hereby directed to demobilize, cease any further escalation of the indefinite strike action, and fully resume work tomorrow, Thursday, the 16th of November, 2023.”
This suspension is intended to facilitate further discussions after the federal government had met our crucial demands to address the distressing abduction and brutalization of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, and others.
Ribadu had earlier condemned the attack on Ajaero in Owerri, saying it violates “the principles of freedom of association and expression,” while assuring that some of the attackers have been arrested.
A statement to this effect by the Head, Strategic Communications, in the Office of the NSA, Zakari Mijinyawa, reads: “The NSA is particularly worried about the implications of the strike action on the livelihood of ordinary Nigerians and its potential impact on economic security and other strategic national interests.
“As attested by the NLC leadership, the NSA immediately intervened on learning about the travails of the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joseph Ajaero, who was assaulted in Owerri, Imo State.
“The NSA regrets the incident and condemns it in its entirety, as it was against the rule of law and the principles of freedom of association and expression, subscribed to by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his administration.
“The federal government will never condone such an act. As a fallout of the incident, relevant authorities were directed to conduct thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assault and bring to book the culprits.
“Available update indicates that some arrests have already been made in this regard. The outcome of the investigation will be made public as soon as it is concluded.
“The federal government, through the Office of the NSA, therefore, appeals to the labour leadership to call off the current strike action and allow the dialogue process underway to be exhausted.”