NLC, TUC Suspend Nationwide Strike


The indefinite nationwide strike led by the joint National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has been suspended after entering its second day on Wednesday. 

The decision emerged from a meeting on Wednesday, which discussed the outcome of an earlier engagement with the Federal Government, led by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu.

TUC President, Festus Osifo, confirmed the suspension, revealing that the organised labour received a commitment during the Ribadu-led meeting that those responsible for the physical assault on NLC President, Joe Ajaero, would face prosecution.

The NSA expressed a commitment to bringing both parties back to the negotiation table to resolve all outstanding disputes. He offered an apology on behalf of the Federal Government for the assault on Ajaero and other members of the congress. 

The closed-door meeting, held at the NSA’s office, included attendees such as TUC President Festus Osifo, NLC General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja, and Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Lalong. The meeting addressed the issues at stake, and both the labour minister and the TUC President emphasized the depth of their discussions.

Assault On Ajaero 

The strike came on the heels of the physical assault Ajaero was subjected to in Imo State two weeks ago when he and other NLC members were in the South-East state for a demonstration over “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of other labour rights”.

 The protest was viewed in some circles as an attempt to scuttle the re-election bid of Governor Hope Uzodimma in last Saturday’s governorship election. 

Following Ajaero’s ordeal, the organised labour called for a nationwide strike beginning today. 

However, the National Industrial Court (NIC) restrained them from embarking on the strike action in the wake of the impasse with the Imo State Government.

Strike Announced 


Last Tuesday, the leadership of the NLC and the TUC declared a total nationwide strike effective one week later (yesterday). 

The leadership of the two unions reached the resolution after an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting in Abuja. 

The two major labour unions said nationwide mobilisation of members and allies had begun immediately, following Ajaero’s brutalisation the previous week in Imo State. 

The incident led to widespread outrage among organised labour, which accused the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Mohammed Barde, of complicity.

Labour proceeded to hand the Federal Government a five-day ultimatum to replace the police commissioner, while also laying blame at the feet of Governor Hope Uzodimma, who was seeking re-election. 

The governor however said he had no hand in the attack on the labour leader. 

But the unions demanded the arrest and prosecution of some of the governor’s aides and threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action if their demands were not carried out. 

Workers Down Tools

The nationwide strike led by the NLC and TUC commenced on Tuesday, with affiliated unions, including NUBIFIE, the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, SSANIP, ASUP, National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees, MWUN, National Union of Electricity Employees, and the Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, expressing compliance through circulars shared on NLC’s Facebook post. 

The strike persisted into Wednesday, eliciting appeals and interventions from various quarters, including the National Security Adviser, who engaged with the labour leader in Abuja, and the Senate, alongside other individuals and organizations.