Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The two-day warning strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday paralysed activities in government offices in Edo State including the suspension of two judgments that ought to have been delivered by the National/State Assembly Elections Tribunal.
Also affected were banking transactions as commercial banks were closed to customers.
Companies like Guinness Plc, 7Up Bottling Plant, the Central Park in Benin City, government offices including hospitals and other facilities like the NNPC mega stations were shut down by the protesting NLC members who were led by the state Chairman, Comrade Odion Olaye.
Justice O.A. Chijioke-led election tribunal II was scheduled to deliver judgment in the petition filed by Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Peoples Democratic Partys (PDP) candidate in the February 25 general election, Mr. Okhuarobo Henry Osamuede, against Mr. Omoruyi Murphy Osaro of the Labour Party (LP).
Also the tribunal was expected to deliver judgment in the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the election, Eribo Crosby Osadolor, against the Labour Party candidate, Murphy Omoruyi Imasuen.
Speaking with journalists while enforcing the strike order at the state High Court in Benin City with other union members, Olaye said compliance with the warning strike was total.
He said: “You can see things for yourself. We are in the state High Court and we have shut it down. The state secretariat has been shut down, Central Hospital, Coca Cola, Guinness, 7Up.
“In fact, all government parastatals have been shut down including the transport sector. They are in compliance.”
On the non-participation of its sister body, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Olaye said that the NLC doesn’t need the support of the TUC to be able to send their messages to the Federal Government and cause the needed change.
“TUC is not with us. They are on their own and we are not working with them on this two-day warning strike.
“We don’t even count on them. They only have eight unions, while NLC has 42 unions and so we are working with that and all the areas that are supposed to be shut down have been shut down.
“Anyone that does not comply with the strike action, a proper action will be taken against them,” Olaye warned.