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The Federal Government has taken a swipe on the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress for its nationwide strike which began on Tuesday, saying the action was clearly uncalled for.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy who reacted to the strike on Tuesday, in Abuja, wondered why social and economic activities should be grounded over what he described as a personal matter involving the Nigeria Labour Congress President, Joe Ajaero and the Imo State government.

He however concluded that an error of judgement on the part of Ajaero may have led to his assault in Owerri the Imo state capital recently.

He said the presidency has notice with dismay the decision by the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to call out workers to commence a strike action from midnight, despite a restraining order issued last week by Justice Benedict Backwash Kanyip of the National Industrial Court.

According to Onanuga, the action by the two labour centres was mere ego tripping, which is clearly unwarranted, adding that it is ochestrated to blackmail the government.

“We are still at a loss as to the reason the NLC and TUC decided to punish a whole country of over 200 million people over a personal matter involving the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, whose error of judgment led to the assault on him in Owerri while he was planning to incite the workers in Imo State into a needless strike,” Onanuga stated.

He said though the Federal government does not condone any form of violence and assault on any citizen of Nigeria regardless of social and economic status, the Inspector General of Police has ordered investigation into what happened to Mr. Ajaero.

“The Commissioner of Police in Imo State under whose watch the incident happened, has been transferred out of the state. Calling out workers on a national strike over a personal issue of a labour leader despite a clear court order against any industrial action amounts to an abuse of privilege.

“Power at any level should never be used to settle personal scores. Rather, it should be used to promote collective progress and advance national interest,” he stated.

The presidential aide also noted that the national economy and social activities need not suffer because of the personal interest of any labour leader.

“This flagrant disobedience to court order and lack of respect to the judiciary should not be what the organised Labour should champion.

“The labour movement has always been a champion of rule of law and respect for the judiciary. It is a sad irony that the current labour leaders have shown disdain and utter disregard for court order.

“We reiterate that this strike action is illegal, immoral, unjustifiable, and irresponsible. The strike notice issued Monday night after official hours suggests it was designed for a sinister and hidden agenda to cause undue hardship and cause civil disturbance in our country,”Onanuga added.



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