Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, and others on Thursday dissociated themselves from the proposed strike in Imo State.
The leaders of the various unions who spoke to newsmen in Owerri argued that no issue could have led to any form of strike in the state.
They were angry that an internal issue regarding the process of an election could not have become a reason for workers to go on strike in the state.
First to speak, was the state chairman of NLC, Philip Nwansi, who said there was no need for any strike.
“We are not embarking on any strike in Imo; there was no communication and procedures were not followed if at all they were announcing a strike, but there was nothing like that, but we appeal to the National leadership to do the right thing.
“The National body is taking advantage of the crisis in the union in the State to call for the strike. The election of new executive members of the party was postponed following abnormalities witnessed in the Delegates Congress of the union on Tuesday.”
But Nwasi was worried that later the National body announced John Ofoegbu, a contestant as the caretaker committee chairman of the Imo State NLC.
“Using my opponent who is contesting an election with me; to make him a caretaker was an aberration and it is not acceptable.”
Adding his voice, The Imo State chairman, of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Ibe Uchenna said: “I was called on Monday evening by NLC, for a delegates conference. After some time, They came back and told me that the delegate conference was inconclusive. It was yesterday (Wednesday) a member called me that if I was aware of any strike and I said no and that some people came to block their office.
“They later called me that a section of the NLC said the government wanted to impose an NLC chairman, on them. I was embarrassed when I got the information and I asked can NLC, declare a strike on their own without consultation?
“I appeal to my comrades in the NLC, to calm down. TUC is not part of any strike in Imo State and we are embarrassed because no issue could have led to any strike in the state.”
Speaking also, the Imo State chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ifeanyi Nwanguma, said: “On that day as the exercise was going on, there was an argument and a counter-argument, and a meeting was held and in that meeting, it was agreed that the exercise should be put off. Nobody was attacked.”
It would be recalled that the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Joe Ajaero, in a statement said among others that “the strike action was prompted by the brigandage of the state government in conjunction with Security agencies against workers in the State yesterday who assembled peacefully to conduct the State Delegates Conference of the Congress.”