A Labour Party faction has issued a press statement addressing the current nationwide strike declared by the NLC/TUC. The statement characterizes the indefinite strike as a sponsored attempt to subdue the Nigerian state through insurrection. The statement, signed by the factional National Chairman of the Labour Party, Alhaji Bashiru Lamidi Apapa, accused the NLC/TUC of incompetence in managing their role as defenders of workers’ interests and involvement in partisan politics.…CONTINUE READING
The party called for immediate action to quell civil unrest and suggested the creation of additional Labour Unions.
On November 14, 2023, the National Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) initiated a nationwide strike, disregarding the National Industrial Court’s order to halt further action.
Apapa said: “The contemnor or contemner Labour unions resolved to embark on strike and protests beginning from Tuesday, November 14, 2023, after the joint NEC meeting of the NLC and the TUC is not only a full stretch disobedience to the order of the National Industrial Court, which has earlier directed the labour unions to stop further strike action but also a calculated attempt to foster anarchy, create chaos and civil disobedience against a constitutionally elected and Legitimate Civilian Administration which we all as Citizens of our dear country must resist
“The indiscriminate use of NLC/TUC to strangulate democracy and prosecute personal agenda of political and Economic decimation of our country is an affirmation of their desperation to Conquer Nigeria.
The principle of Natural justice does not allow the Sin of an individual to be visited on the society to which the individual belongs nor is it morally justified to judge the conduct of a society by the conduct of a few.
“We are therefore unable to compute any form of juxtaposition as to why the NLC/TUC are hell-bent on destroying the population of over 220miilion Nigerians over a personal incident that involved the NLC president whose lack of ability to Distinguish between Labour activities and partisan politics led to assault on him in Owerri by unknown Mob.
“The NLC/TUC has manifestly and incompetently displayed gross deficiencies in their capabilities and capacities to manage and maintain a clear distinction between their primary role as a defender of workers’ interests and involvement in partisan politics with their active membership of the Labour Party, which has deviated their focus from labour issues and the welfares of its members.”
According to the statement, the current leadership under Joe Ajaero has become the worst in the history of the Labour Union, with recent events casting a negative aspersion on the credibility of the NLC/TUC.
The party called for immediate action to quell any civil unrest and advised the NLC and TUC to seek redress in court instead of disrupting the nation’s economic activities.
The faction advised security agencies to be more proactive, vigilant, and stern, warning Nigerian workers to respect the law.
“Most unfortunately, the present Labour leadership under Joe Ajaero has now become the worst in the history of the Labour Union because recent events cast a negative aspersion on the credibility of the NLC/TUC as its current leadership appears to be consumed undisputably with the identity crisis.
“Orders of court as made must be obeyed until set aside. Orders of the court are to be respected and obeyed. The dignity and honour of the court cannot be maintained if its Orders are treated disdainfully and scornfully without due respect.
“Consequently, non-compliance with an order of the industrial court makes the strike incompetent and illegal. Thus, the purported commencement of the nationwide strike today, 14th November 2023, amounted to blatant disobedience to the Orders of the court.
“The latest onslaught against the Nigerian state raises concerns about Joe Ajaero’s dual identity role as the NLC president and Membership of Labour Party even when the Imo State chapter of the NLC has publicly distanced themselves from the coup plot when the state council confirmed that there were no outstanding salary issues, a move that suggest Joe Ajaero’s mission was more about political ratmatax than genuine workers concerns.
“The Joint Labour Union’s incessant and deadly attacks against the Nigerian state have precipitated a huge conflict of interest within their ranks and have severely damaged the credibility of the Labour organization because their leadership have abandoned the protection of workers’ interest for partisan politics.
“Similarly, the security agencies are advised to be more proactive and vigilant to act very fast and protect the national assets from hoodlums hiding under the labour unions.
“There is an urgent need for the security agencies to issue stern warnings to Nigeria workers for them to respect the law. The NLC and TUC must not be used by any thoroughly demystified political misfits or their agents to ground the economy.
“The Lamidi Apapa-led National Working Committee, while distancing the party from the proposed strike, calls for immediate action to quell any civil unrest as soon as discovered. The party calls the NLC and the TUC to order while advising their leadership under Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo to seek redress in the court instead of taking to the streets to disrupt the economic activities of the nation.
“The security agencies must compel the leadership of the labour unions and their affiliates to seek peaceful means of resolution of any disputes from the government. It is a coup to democracy and to the governments at all levels for the labour unions to go on strike, while a court order stopping further strike still subsists.
“The Nigerian Government, as a matter of urgency, must now, through the Ministry of Labour and Employment considered, immediately the unbundling of Labour Union in our country through the creation of three additional Labour Union namely: the Nigeria Trade Union Congress (NTUC), Labour Unity Front (LUF), United Labour Congress (ULC) which would serve as alternative platforms for interested workers aside the two already politically infested NLC/TUC.”
Apapa reminded the leadership of both NLC/TUC about Section 37 of the Criminal Code Act in Nigeria, emphasizing that anyone who wages war against the State is guilty of treason and is subject to the death penalty.
“The National Chairman of Labour Party, Alh Bashiru Lamidi Apapa, wishes to remind both NLC/TUC leadership that:
Section 37 of the Criminal Code Act in Nigeria states that:
(1) Any person who levies war against the State in order to intimidate or overawe the President or the Governor of a State is guilty of treason and is liable to the punishment of death.
(2) Any person conspiring with any person, either within or without Nigeria, to levy war against the State with intent to cause such levying of war as would be treason if committed by a citizen of Nigeria is guilty of treason and is liable to the punishment of death:
“The National Security Adviser must now, as a matter of urgency, activate the Chief of Defense Staff, Inspector General of Police and all security agencies to be fully prepared to crush this rebellion madness.
“Finally, in view of the above, our party hereby further disassociated ourselves from those arsonists planning the insurrection through civil disobedience and unrest in order to overthrow and Conquer Nigeria.
“The time is now for all Nigerians to come together to crush this violent uprising against the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement concluded.
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