By Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Academic activities in schools and office work were grounded in Katsina State Thursday as the nationwide warning strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) commenced Thursday.
The strike followed the inability of the federal government to meet the demands of the union despite numerous meetings.
When THISDAY visited the state and federal secretariats, it was observed that the offices were under lock and key as few staff were seen in groups outside the gate discussing.
Similarly, activities at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Hassan Usman Polytechnic and Federal College of Education have equally been paralyzed, as most students were spotted stranded at the institution’s gates.
However, at the Al-Qalam University, students were busy writing their second semester examinations, despite NLC’s directive that all private institutions should join the strike.
At the General Hospital Katsina, doctors and nurses were seen rendering skeletal services to patients, as the administration block of the hospital was shut down, while normal activities were ongoing at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Katsina as of press time.
Officials of organised labour in the state were sighted as early as 7a.m. going round all institutions, ministries and parastatals to make sure its directives from the national headquarters were complied with by workers.
An official of the union said: “Our members will continue to stay at home until the NLC and the government resolved their misunderstanding. Go round, you will find out that many offices are under lock and key.”
Meanwhile, all commercial banks in Katsina remained open for customers, just as transporters were still in full operations in the metropolis.
However, the state government has threatened to sanction workers who fail to report to their duty posts.
The state Head of Service, Idris Tuni, was said to have directed permanent secretaries and chief executives of commissions, boards and parastatal, and agencies to take attendance of their staff.
Efforts made by THISDAY to reach Tuni for comments on the threat were unsuccessful, as the security personnel attached to his office prevented anyone access to him.
The state Chairman of NLC Tanimu Saulawa in a telephone interview, expressed satisfaction that workers obeyed the union’s directive, adding that the strike was over 90 per cent successful in the state and promised to brief journalists later.