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Presidency mocks NLC/TUC, says strike action illegal

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Bola Tinubu, APC presidential candidate

The Presidency on Monday night derided the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) over its proposed nationwide strike, describing it as illegal and irresponsible.

Chronicle NG reports that the NLC and TUC declared a national strike action on November 7, noting that the strike action commences on November 14.

Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to President Bola Tinubu noted that the strike action is an ego trip and that the error of judgment by NLC President, Joe Ajaero, led to the assault on him in Owerri, Imo State.

Onanuga added that the industrial action by NLC and TUC is in contradiction to a court ruling stopping them from embarking on such.

“We notice with dismay the decision by the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress to call out workers to commence a strike action from midnight, despite a restraining order issued last week by Justice Benedict Backwash Kanyip of the National Industrial Court,” he said in the statement.

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“This decision by the NLC and TUC other than being an ego-tripping move is unwarranted. It is an attempt to blackmail the government by the leadership of the NLC.

Brutalized NLC President, Joe Ajaero was arrested in Imo State

Brutalized NLC President, Joe Ajaero

He added “We are still at a loss as to why the NLC and TUC decided to punish a whole country of over 200 million people over a personal matter involving the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, whose error of judgment led to assault on him in Owerri while he was planning to incite the workers in Imo State into a needless strike.

“While the Federal government does not condone any form of violence and assault on any citizen of Nigeria regardless of his or her social and economic status, it is on record that the Inspector General of Police has ordered an investigation into what happened to Mr Ajaero while the Commissioner of Police in Imo State under whose watch the incident happened has been transferred out of the state.

“Calling out workers on a national strike over a personal issue of a labour leader despite a clear court order against any industrial action amounts to an abuse of privilege. Power at any level should never be used to settle personal scores. Rather, it should be used to promote collective progress and advance national interest.

Mr. Bayo Onanuga is MD, News Agency of Nigeria

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy

He noted that “Our national economy and social activities should not suffer because of the personal interest of any labour leader.

“This flagrant disobedience to court order and lack of respect for the judiciary should not be what the organised labour would champion.

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“The labour movement has always been a champion of the rule of law and respect for the judiciary. It is a sad irony that the current labour leaders have shown disdain and utter disregard for court orders.

“We reiterate that this strike action is illegal, immoral, unjustifiable and irresponsible. What the strike notice issued Monday night after official hours suggests is it’s designed for a sinister and hidden agenda to cause undue hardship and civil disturbance in our country. This is unacceptable,” he said.

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