The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to embark on a nationwide three-day warning strike in solidarity with affiliate unions in the universities and students.
The NLC’s threat is contained in a communique jointly signed by its president, Ayuba Wabba, and general secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, and issued on Thursday, at the end of the union’s Central Working Committee meeting.
The NLC had on April 13, given President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime 21 days to set up a panel to resolve the issues causing incessant strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and others.
According to the CWC, the NLC threatened to hold protests against the lingering ASUU strike within the subsisting 21-day ultimatum.
“This is also occasioned by the government’s failure to honour agreements reached with trade unions in our universities. If at the end of the national protest and the 21 days ultimatum, the federal government fails to resolve the industrial crises in Nigeria’s universities, the congress would be left with no other option than to embark on three days nationwide warning strike,” explained the statement. “This is in solidarity with our affiliates in the universities and with Nigerian students, whose future and wellbeing are being jeopardised.”
The NLC added that the protest was to draw the attention of the government to the “inherent catastrophe in the emerging culture of social apartheid in the society, by prolonged lockout from academics of students from poor homes.”
It also said affiliates of the NLC were to issue public statements condemning the intermittent strikes in Nigeria’s universities.
According to the union, the current ASUU strike is worrisome. It also described the current insecurity as “totally unacceptable,” and called on the government to rein in the “monstrous cancer before it consumed the entire country.”
It called for the declaration of all-out war against terrorists and their sponsors, including those who diverted funds meant to fight insurgency.
The NLC further called on the government to focus on the immediate release from captivity of all abducted citizens.
It called on the governments of Taraba, Cross River and Zamfara to immediately commence payment of the arrears of national minimum wage owed their workers.
It also called on the Abia government to immediately clear the backlog of pension arrears owed retirees in the state.