The ongoing strike organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is a direct response to the growing culture of violence and impunity prevalent in the country.
Benson Upah, the Head of Information and Public Affairs of the NLC, emphasized in a statement that the strike should not be misconstrued as a private matter but as a collective protest against the real issues at hand.
Upah urged Nigerians to reject the narrative propagated by government agents, which seeks to divert attention from the core concerns. He highlighted that personal liberty is a fundamental aspect of a democratic society and condemned the violent violations that have occurred, citing the recent incident in Imo State as an example.
The NLC, along with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, is using the strike as a means to oppose the recurring acts of violence, assault, and impunity committed by the Nigeria Police Force or under their supervision. Upah specifically mentioned the forceful seizure of offices belonging to NURTW, RTEAN, and NUPENG as despicable acts of impunity that the strike aims to protest against.
Furthermore, the arrest, beating, and torture of Comrade Joe Ajaero symbolize an escalation in the culture of harassment and intimidation. Upah emphasized that the labor movement has no apologies for resisting such developments through the strike. He warned that the loss of personal liberty through the misuse of state power by its agents is the beginning of tyranny, and urged the government of President Bola Tinubu to address and prevent the growing culture of harassment, violence, and terror.
The NLC remains resolute in its objectives, seeking a commitment from the government to abide by the laws of the land. Upah emphasized that the labor movement does not require approval from government agents posing as friends, and emphasized the importance of safeguarding the democratic space, which is currently under threat.
In summary, the NLC strike is a response to the escalating culture of violence and impunity, aiming to draw attention to these issues and demand government action to address them.