NLC divided over planned strike, North, South West may back out of Wednesday proposed workers stay at home

By Abiodun Ayoola(Lagos) and Nassir Abdulahi (Kano)

For the first time in recent history, the Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC) may find it difficult to mobilise on a national scale for the planned strike expected to begin on Wednesday.

A new President Bola Tinubu was sworn in on May 29 trailed by hike in fuel prices.

Nigerians are passing through harsh economic conditions with the essentials of life far above the reach of commons amidst inflation rate now at two digits and a spasm of ebbing Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

Yet, in the face of falling living standards politicians continue to live in affluence.

Irohinoodua was informed on Sunday that several labour unions are not comfortable with the position of the Central union on the proposed strike.

A reliable source in the NLC said States in the South West and North are reluctant in joining the proposed strike.

” There was not enough consultation by the NLC. Nigerians were all preparing for the subsidy removal. We do not think calling a nationwide strike is the solution” an official of the NLC in Oyo State told Irohinoodua.

The NLC President Mr Joe Ajaero had called on its five million members across the country to embark on a nationwide strike expected to begin on Wednesday.

In Kano and Kaduna, NLC officials who spoke to our correspondent said the union in the many Northern states may not join the planned nationwide strike

“We are consulting with labour leaders in the North. We don’t think what we need now is a strike. We have a new administration. We need time to assess the new government before decisions are taken on any planned nationwide strike” the official said.
An official in the Tinubu campaign team, Mr Bayo Onanuga had accused Ajaero of playing the game for the Labour Party, LP candidate, Mr Peter Obi. He accused Ajaero of working for the opposition to scuttle democracy and impose Obi through the backdoor using illegitimate means.

The NLC is the largest labour union in Nigeria with 43 affiliate members and some 5 million members spread across the 36 states of the Federation.

The new NLC President Ajaero has a consistent reputation of radical views on the political economy. But his recent support for the LP is being exploited to portray him as a rookie of the opposition.

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