Organised labour comprising of the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on Tuesday declared a total nationwide strike effective Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
The leadership of the two unions reached the resolution after an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, an official told The PUNCH under the condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to disclose details ahead of a scheduled press release by the labour centres.
The leadership of the NLC and the TUC summoned what the unions described as an extraordinary NEC meeting.
The aim of the meeting was to review the modalities of the planned strike following the brutalisation of the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, review of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government and the organised labour on October 2, 2023, following the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit which the labour centres said has caused “untold hardship” to Nigerians.
The labour unions had, on Friday, issued a five-day ultimatum over the earlier arrest of the National President of the NLC, by the police in Owerri, Imo State, on Wednesday.
The labour centres demanded the redeployment of the commissioner of police in the state and the arrest and prosecution of the aide of the government who was alleged to have perpetrated the attack.
The unions also threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action if their demands were not met in five days from Friday.
Ajaero was arrested by the police ahead of the state-wide protest in Imo on Wednesday. This was disclosed by the NLC’s Head of Information, Benson Upah.
Although the police denied arresting Ajaero, stating that he was merely taken into protective custody to prevent a mob attack, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, accused the labour leader of meddling in the political affairs of the state.
The attack on the labour leader has been condemned by many prominent Nigerians and civil society organisations, including the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, and human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN).