Senate Invites NLC, TUC for Meeting, Wants Strike Ended


The Senate on Wednesday invited the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for a meeting to resolve the ongoing nationwide strike.
The upper chamber also urged the labour unions to immediately suspend the strike in national interest.

The resolution was a result of a point of order raised by the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, at the plenary.

The TUC President, Festus Osifo, on Monday announced that the unions would commence an indefinite national strike from midnight to protest the brutalisation of the NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, the Imo State capital on 1 November.

The strike has affected activities in many public institutions across Nigeria.

Mr Bamidele, while raising the point of order, called on the leadership of the labour unions to reconsider their decision on the national strike in the spirit of patriotism and adherence to the rule of law.

The senate leader said most of the demands of the labour unions were not meant to enhance the welfare of Nigerian workers.

He said the demands were based on the involvement of the NLC National President in Imo State politics.

Mr Bamidele, therefore, called for an emergency meeting between the Senate leadership and the labour unions to resolve the issues that led to the declaration of the strike.

During the debate on the issue, many of the senators supported the suspension of the strike.

Muhammad Aliero (PDP, Kebbi Central) complained that lawmakers and their aides were finding it difficult to access the National Assembly complex due to the strike.

Mr Aliero urged the Senate to immediately intervene in the crisis to avoid further devastation.

Adams Oshiomole (APC, Edo North) expressed concern over the manner police officers treat protesters.

Mr Oshiomole, a former president of the NLC, urged the Senate to condemn the brutality of protesters.

He called on the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to prosecute all the officers involved in the manhandling of Mr Ajaero in Imo State.

Mr Oshiomole urged the federal government to implement the agreement reached with the labour unions and also called on state governors to implement the N35,000 wage increase.

Ali Ndume, the chief whip of the Senate, also condemned the strike declared by labour.

Mr Ndume, who represents Borno South, stressed that ordinary Nigerians should not suffer for the maltreatment of one person.

In his ruling, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, urged the labour unions to suspend the strike.

Mr Akpabio also directed the Clerk of the Senate, Chinedu Akubueze, to immediately fix a date for an emergency meeting with the unions and communicate with their leadership accordingly.

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