In a significant turn of events, the Organized Labour in Nigeria has officially suspended the nationwide indefinite strike that commenced on November 14, 2023.
This decision was made after a thorough review of offers presented by the Federal Government through the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, during a meeting held on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr. Emmanuel Ugboaja, the General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Mr. Nuhu Toro, Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), jointly signed a statement explaining the rationale behind the suspension.
According to Mr. Ugboaja, “The NEC in session had a thorough review of the offers presented by the Federal Government through the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu. We found the offers credible and decided to reconsider our action.”
The organized labour had earlier met with the NSA and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, to discuss their demands and concerns. Following this meeting, they directed all affiliates and State councils of both the NLC and TUC to demobilize and cease any further escalation of the indefinite strike action.
“We fully resume work tomorrow, Thursday, the 16th day of November, 2023,” Mr. Ugboaja announced.
The decision to suspend the ongoing nationwide strike is intended to facilitate further discussions after the federal government had met crucial demands. Mr. Ugboaja highlighted one of the key demands, stating, “We expect the government to address the distressing abduction and brutalization of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, and others. These incidents occurred in the hands of the Police and Gov. Hope Uzodimma’s thugs in Owerri, in Imo, on the 1st day of November, 2023.”
He further revealed that an apology was tendered on behalf of the government by the NSA, who promised to coordinate the investigation. Some of the perpetrators have already been arrested, and others will be identified and prosecuted.
A high-powered investigation is currently underway, and the leadership of labour centers will be continuously briefed on the progress. Mr. Ugboaja expressed his appreciation for the unwavering commitment and tenacity of all affiliates and state councils that contributed to the success of the indefinite nationwide strike.
“Once again, we convey our appreciation for your cooperation, resilience, and determination in ensuring the success of the indefinite nationwide strike. We encourage you to remain vigilant as we await the fulfillment of the remaining agreements,” he concluded.
This development marks a significant moment in the ongoing labor negotiations, with hopes for a peaceful resolution to the issues that led to the strike.