The Imo Awareness Coalition, IAC, a watchdog group, has called on the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, to suspend its ongoing strike in Imo State immediately, “in order to stop inflicting more pain and misery on the citizens of the State”
The group in a statement in Owerri on Sunday, signed by its spokesman, Fidelis Echendu and made available to INNONEWS, said the State is losing N1 billion naira daily since the beginning of the strike.
Recall that the NLC President, Mr. Jeo Ajaero, had said the strike action was prompted “by the brigandage of the Imo state government in conjunction with security agencies against workers in the state who assembled peacefully to conduct the State Delegates Conference of the Congress”
The Union in furtherance of the strike advised “those traveling to Imo State through the Airport to look for other alternatives, those that make use of petroleum products should make efforts to seek alternatives and those that use electricity to seek other options outside the National Grid’
Reacting to the industrial action, the Owerri based Watchdog said the strike, which has led to cut off of electricity in the State, “is already crippling businesses, exposing the state to grave danger by endangering its security.
“It has also increased the misery of an already despondent populace in the state hit by the Federal Government’s thoughtless cashless policy
“The strike is robbing salt on an injury. It is adding to the long suffering, the daily toil of Imolites who face severe hardship on daily basis to eke out a living.
“The shutdown of electricity in the state has crippled businesses, especially the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, who rely on power supply for survival.
“Industries, hotels, and other business outlets that depend on power supply are worst hit in the face of soaring prices of fuel and diesel, which in some cases, are scarce. In monetary estimates, the state loses about NI billion naira daily to the strike action
“The NLC strike is an extension of the misery and hunger already experienced by the good people of the state, who have for a long period are traumatized by the activities of unknown gunmen and the Monday Sit at Home, which has adversely affected the weak and decadent economy in Imo State
“Therefore, the NLC, especially its President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, perhaps did not understand the weight of the economic challenges confronting the people of the State before he went the extra mile to order the shutdown of electricity across the State.
“His action is an over drive, which completely exposes his indifference to the pathetic plight of the people of the state where he hails from
“In saner climes, Labour embark on strike with a human face and not industrial actions that inflict pain and hardship on the people which they claim to protect.
“The Imo State government, on its part, should endeavour to engage in decent conversation with Labour geared towards resolving all core issues involved and suspend the strike without further delay” the statement stated.