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FG condemns Labour’s nationwide strike amidst partial compliance

Ongoing strike, declared in response to NLC President's assault, faces criticism from government officials

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In the aftermath of the assault on Nigeria Labour Congress President, Joe Ajaero, the Federal Government expressed disapproval of the nationwide strike declared by union leaders. Kamarudeen Ogundele, Special Assistant to the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, criticized the strike during an interview on Arise Television, stating that such actions were not in the country’s best interest.

Ogundele argued, “Declaring a strike at this time will not be in the interest of the country. The country is trying to regain economic control and recover in several sectors. Instead of looking for ways to progress as a nation, there is no need for us to try to be involved in actions that will constitute a hindrance in the process of the country.”

Responding to the criticism, President of the Trade Union Congress, Festus Osifo, highlighted the absence of an apology from Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma over the brutalization of Ajaero. While the nationwide strike recorded partial compliance in various states, Osifo justified the action, stating that more institutions would be shut down if the government continued to delay.

Osifo addressed the court order attempting to stop the strike, saying, “The government cannot continually take black market injunctions to cripple Labour. They will have to arrest the entire Nigerians.”

Despite the strike directive from NLC and TUC, there was only partial observance in some states, including Anambra, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, and Ogun. While some sectors partly obeyed the strike, others, like banks, government offices, and schools in Lagos, Rivers, Kwara, Bauchi, and Zamfara, operated normally.

The strike was initiated to protest the alleged brutalization of NLC President Joe Ajaero during a workers’ protest in Owerri, Imo State, on November 1. Despite partial compliance, various businesses, schools, and institutions carried on with their activities in Lagos and other states.

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