Fuel price hike: Nationwide total strike may begin Wednesday; as Labour threatens to shut down Nigeria
**Demands total reversal of pump price to N86.50
BEARING any last minute alteration, organized labour and its civil society allies have resolved to shut down Nigeria from Wednesday, May 18, over the hike in the pump price of petrol announced by the federal government last Wednesday.
Recall the Federal Government on Wednesday announced a new regime of price that took the pump price of petrol to N145 per liter from N86.50.
It was gathered that labour leaders will this weekend send a letter to government demanding a total reversal to the N86.50 pump price of petrol before 12 am on Wednesday, falling which all economic and others would be shut from Wednesday.
It was also gathered that while industrial unions and others will use between Monday and Tuesday to mobilize members and others for a nationwide total strike, Nigerians are also expected to use the two days (Monday and Tuesday) to prepare for the industrial action by stockpiling food items and other essential things they may need during the duration of the strike.
Information gathered revealed that while leaders of Ayuba Wabba led Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, would meet with their Trade Union Congress of Nigeria ,TUC, counterpart today in Abuja alongside some civil society groups to harmonize position on how to go about the planned action, the Joe Ajaero led NLC will also meet today in Lagos with some civil society groups to take position.
Labour sources further hinted that though the National Executive Council, NEC, meetings of Ayuba Wabba faction of NLC was very stormy as labour leaders from the north were foot-dragging over the planned strike, labour leaders from the South west, South-South and South-East, insisted on fighting the government to a stand still over the hike.
After much pressure, it was gathered, labour leaders from the north agreed to give the planned strike their total support.
It was then resolved that a letter be sent to government between today and tomorrow on the resolve of labour and its civil society allies and that industrial unions should use Monday and Tuesday to mobilize their members for a total strike.
Meanwhile, TUC on its part, at its NEC meeting gave government up till Wednesday to invite labour leaders and others to find a way forward to avoid a total shut down of the country.
However it is expected that at today meeting between TUC and Wabba faction of NLC, both positions would be harmonized for the action to begin on Wednesday.
Addressing journalists after its NEC meeting, yesterday in Lagos, TUC President, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, said the body was giving the federal government till May 18, to invite labour leaders to discuss the way forward to avoid nationwide strike.
“‘The NEC in session has given the government till Wednesday 18, to invite the leadership of labour for discussion aimed at determining the appropriate way forward,”Kaigama said,
According to him, the leadership of TUC would interface with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Civil Society Allies to work out plans that would be put in place to protest the increase fuel price if the government failed to meet the Wednesday deadline.
Similarly, the Ajaero led faction of NLC which had earlier given indication that members would join forces with other bodies and Nigerians to fight the hike, would meet today and also take a stance.
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