The Patriotism Awareness Forum (PAF) has condemned the latest strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress in defiance to a subsisting lawful court order. PAF views the action of the trade centres as a brutal affront on democracy and the rule of law and charges government to weigh in and stop the rash, contemptuous acts of the NLC/TUC.
PAF claimed to be aware that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has launched an investigation into the alleged attack on Mr. Joe Ajaero in Owerri, Imo State on 1st November 2023 by persons whose identity is unknown save for his statement through the NLC and “We wonder how labour be a judge in its own case through it’s unilateral decision of going on strike on a matter that is supposed to be investigated and prosecuted according to the laws of the land?
In a release in Lagos, signed by the Convener Nelson Ekujumi and Co-Convener, Peter Claver Oparah, PAF warns that the present leadership of the organized labour stands to imperil the collective Nigerian workers interests in the pursuit of narrow selfish political interests. The group wondered how NLC & TUC can deliberately flout and disregard the order of the court and embark on a politically motivated strike just to satiate their ego and push their unpopular political interests?
“While it’s an indisputable fact that this strike is an affront against an order of the National Industrial Court (NIC) restraining the labour centres from embarking on industrial strike, we see the decision of the NLC and TUC to still go ahead with a most unpopular and contempt of court order strike, as a brazen and reckless affront to our democracy and the rule of law”. Added to the fact that this needless strike stems from the ill-advised and absurd decision of the labour leadership to pursue very unpopular partisan political interests in Imo State ahead of the recently concluded November 11th 2023 gubernatorial election. We see the leadership of labour as sowing the seeds for the destruction of labour unions in Nigeria which is very dangerous and unfortunate.
“We are shocked that the NLC under the leadership of Joe Ajaero has degenerated into a petty, trivial and unserious political group, whose resort to illegality and crass lawlessness portends an impending ruination of labour unions and the present petty labour leadership stands liable to be held responsible for such ruination”.
“PAF is piqued that under Ajaero, the serious instrument of strikes has been so ridiculed that trade unions now threaten or embark on strikes almost every week and even on non labour related issues, so we wonder which nation will tolerate such absurd misuse and abuse of labour rights by a masquerading political labour centre?”
As a country that operates a constitutional democracy, “We call on the administration of President Bola Tinubu to go back to court to intimate it with the disobedience to it’s lawful order by the NLC and TUC in order for the law to take it’s course”.
We also charge past labour leaders, groups, institutions and men and women of goodwill to wade in and call the present labour leadership to order in order not to fritter away the hard earned image and gains of many years of dedicated struggles for the cause of the Nigerian workers and people by a partisan and politicized labour.