Many workers yesterday shunned the strike called by a faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Ayuba Wabba to protest the increased price of petrol from N86.50 to N145. But there were rallies, which disrupted traffic in some cities. All was normal in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja – the seat of the government – and in Lagos – the nation’s financial and business engine-room. The oil city of Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State, and many other state capitals were peaceful and busy.
Rallies were held in many places, including Lagos and Abuja. They were addressed by Labour leaders and civil society organisations. Activities in government, public and private establishments were going on in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. At the State Secretariat, work went on. Earlier in the day, there was an attempt by an NLC group to lock up the place. Local Trade Union Congress (TUC) Chairman Chika Onuegbu described the failed strike as a “tragedy” and “minus” for labour movement.
Onuegbu said there was need for the two factions of the NLC to unite, stressing that the success of any labour movement depends on a single and common agenda. He said TUC withdrew from the planned strike because it found out that the action would be a fruitless effort without any benefit on the workers.