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Fuel Subsidy: Why We Suspended Nationwide Strike – NLC President

by Victor Ndubuisi

In response to criticism regarding the cancellation of the union’s planned nationwide strike over the elimination of fuel subsidies, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president Joseph Ajaero issued a statement.

According to report, Ajaero criticized Nigerians and the general public for the strike’s suspension during a speech on the AIT’s morning show.

According to him, ”The problem is that Nigerians are very docile. Protests must not only be led by NLC, what about 130 million Nigerians in multi-dimension poverty, can’t they come out to protest?”

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The NLC boss claimed that another reason for the strike’s suspension was to show the outside world that NLC is a law-abiding organization after the federal government obtained a restraining order from the National Industrial Court (NIC) for this purpose. He called out some Civil Society Organizations (CSO) for blaming the Labour Union for the strike’s suspension.


He pointed out that “It pains me to read all manners of media reports accusing NLC of not going ahead with the proposed strike. It’s not all about Labour leading the strike, what about Nigerians? The problem is that Nigerians are very docile. Protests must not only be led by NLC, what about 130 million Nigerians in multi-dimension poverty, can’t they come out to protest?

“Again, I say to the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) blaming Labour for not protesting, why can’t they lead the mass protest? The truth is that NLC has been carrying the burden of CSOs in leading the protests and it should not be so.

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“Look, even the judges who gave the restraining order that organised labour should not go on strike on June 7 are affected by the untold hardship Nigerians are going through at the moment courtesy of the increase in petrol pump price.”

Ajaero continued by describing how the NLC was outlawed by the military dictatorship led by former President Ibrahim Babangida, but Nigerians, especially student unions from Nigeria’s higher education institutions, mobilized and protested until the federal government capitulated.

He said “As Student Unionists, we protested alongside CSOs and Nigerians against the policies of the Babangida regime hence agencies like People’s Bank and others were created by the administration to ameliorate the sufferings of the citizens. Nigerians should not be docile, waiting for only NLC to lead protests.”

It should be remembered that the NLC decided to go on a statewide strike starting today in protest of the elimination of the fuel subsidy and the increase in the price of gasoline at the pump during an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting last week Tuesday.


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However, the Labor Union declared the strike’s postponement in a communiqué on Monday night after spending many hours in meetings with the federal administration.



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