The Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) vowed yesterday to go on a statewide indefinite strike starting on August 14 if the Federal Government’s contempt charge against it was not dropped by Friday, August 11 at the end of business.

    Recall that on Wednesday, the Federal Ministry of Justice appeared in court to accuse labor, as well as the National Labor Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), of contempt for going on strike.

    The NLC urged that the contempt accusation be immediately dropped during its National Executive Council, or NEC, meeting to discuss Wednesday’s massive protest.In a statement following the meeting, NLC officials explained why they had decided to call off the nationwide demonstration. They said that NEC members had thought carefully about the nation’s mood in light of the suffering and plight experienced in all 36 states of the federation.

    The statement states that NEC also evaluated the success of the statewide protest, notably the meetings with President Bola Tinubu, the National Assembly’s leadership, and the Federal Government’s contempt charge action through the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN.

    “Whereas Nigerians spoke out loudly yesterday (Wednesday) to express their outrage over the enormous suffering and impoverishment permeating the landscape, the President, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, responded through a closed-door meeting with the leaders of the Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC,” read the communiqué, which was signed by NLC President and General Secretary Joe Ajaero and Emma Ugboaja, respectively.

    “The following agreements were made in writing, and the President personally promised to carry them out: commitment to reshaping the framework for addressing the effects of the PMS price increase right away in accordance with the suggestions of the labor leadersThe pledge to make sure that an agreement is made on the pay award for Nigerian employees as soon as possible, the assurance that the Port Harcourt Refinery would start producing by December of this year, and the pledge to reveal a practical plan for the CNG alternative next week.

    The NLC and TUC leadership have received a summons to appear in court on charges of contempt of court, despite the contrary provisions of the constitution and the objective facts. This is because the Federal Ministry of Justice has continued to allow the NICN to be used as a tool to undermine the dominance of democratic principles and silence the voices of Nigerian workers.

    NEC-in-Session therefore decided to endorse and affirm the decision to halt further protests related to the statewide mass demonstration.

    To promise to continue exercising the necessary attention to hold the government accountable for its promises and governance generally”Given the promises of the President and the National Assembly, to commit to the terminal date of August 19, 2023, during which the concerns surrounding the petroleum price hike will be agreed.

    The government will use the NICN to summon labor leaders to court and order them to call a nationwide total strike for any given day.”To urge that the Federal Ministry of Justice withdraw this litigious terrorism immediately before the close of business on Friday, August 11, 2023.

    To start a worldwide general strike on Monday, August 14, 2023, if the person who issued the contemptuous court summons does not remove it.

    It asked all affiliates and state councils, including our civil society friends, to halt further action but remain focused and eternally watchful while praising the national leadership and all state officers for the efficient organization of the demonstration.

    Recall that on Wednesday, the Federal Government initiated a contempt case against the NLC and the TUC for allegedly starting a strike in defiance of an exparte judgment issued by the National Industrial Court, NIC, on June 5, 2023.NLC President Joe Ajaero, Deputy Presidents Audu Aruba, Prince Adeyanju Adewale, and Kabiru Sani, General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja, TUC President Engr Festus Usifo, and Secretary General Nuhu Toro were all named in the “notice of consequences of disobedience to order of court” filed before NIC in Abuja.

    The contempt notice, which was signed by Senior Registrar Balogun Olajide, stated: “Take notice that you will be in contempt of court and subject to imprisonment if you fail to comply with the instructions set forth in the order of the National Industrial Court, Abuja, delivered by Honourable Justice Y. Anuwe on June 5, 2023, as per the attached enrolled order.

    The notice of contempt action sent to the NLC and TUC representatives included a copy of the exparte order issued by Justice Anuwe on June 5, 2023.The order stated, in part: “Having thought about this application as a whole, I make the following orders: The Respondents/Defendants are hereby prohibited from engaging in any type of planned industrial action or strike while the Motion on Notice of June 5, 2023 is being heard and decided.


    The motion on notice, the order of this court, and the originating processes in this case must all be served right away on the defendant or respondents.

    “The hearing for the motion on notice is hereby scheduled for June 19, 2023. Along with the other procedures, hearing notices to that effect must be served on the defendants or respondents.

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