Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Workers in both state and federal secretariats in Kwara State Tuesday obeyed the directive of the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to commence nationwide strike over the assault on the national President of NLC, Comrade Joe Ajero.
Ajero was allegedly brutalised by policemen in Owerri, Imo State recently during his visit to the state.
Since then, the leadership of the NLC and TUC have demanded for urgent apology from the Federal Government on the attack or else they would embark on nationwide strike.
Instead, the Federal Government had approached the court to stop the two unions from embarking on strike but this was ignored by the two unions.
However, THISDAY’s visit to the state and federal secretariats in Ilorin Tuesday revealed that workers were not at their duty posts.
Most of the offices in the two secretariats were empty as there were no one in the offices to attend to any visitors.
Also, public schools were deserted by the teachers in the state, while private schools were opened for academic work.
Some of the students, who were in the schools visited by THISDAY, were later ordered to go back home.
Electricity consumers also shared from the pains of the strike as the Ibadan Electricity Distribution company (IBEDC) locked the gates of its offices in Challenge and Baboko business Centres.
The banner of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) was conspicuously displayed at the gates of the business centres, while the security men manning the gates informed customers that the workers were on strike.
Also, commercial banks shut their doors, as customers who visited the banks were not allowed into the bank premises to transact business.
Most of the workers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the government should be magnanimous enough to apologise to the workers on the attack meted out to the NLC President, Ajaero.
They said that the purported decision of the government to approach court to stop the strike would not help the situation.
The workers however said that they would continue with the strike until the government does on the needful.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin Tuesday on the strike, the chairman of the NLC in the state, Comrade Saheed Olayinka, said that the workers in the state complied with the directive of the national secretariat of the NLC to commence the nationwide strike.
He said that a committee had been put in place by the NLC to monitor the strike, adding that members of the committee had been going round the offices to ensure that workers comply with the directive.
Olayinka said that the strike would be more effective, as the monitoring committee of the congress would start picketing the offices of the workers that did not comply with the NLC directive.
The telephone number of the TUC chairman in the state, Tunde Joseph, could not be reached as the number was switched off as at the time of filing this report.