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Forced compliance marks exercise in Oyo, Taraba, Kano

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Apparently due to indifference on the part of the people, the Nigerian Labour Congress yesterday had to deploy a little measure of coercion to ensure enforcement in a couple of states.

However, in some others, the response fell short of expectation resulting in partial compliance.

In Oyo State for instance, Labour leaders were seen yesterday shutting major markets and schools in Ibadan, the state capital.

Also yesterday, the Zonal Coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Segun Ajiboye, described the increase as “wicked”.

Ajiboye vented his annoyance while addressing protesters at the University of Ibadan (UI).

Same coercive pattern played out too in Taraba State where labour officials picketed banks, public schools with a threat by the state NLC chairman, Peter Gambo, to extend the exercise to private schools, hospitals and other non-compliant establishments.

The story was same in Kano State where NLC executives shut banks and the state secretariat.

Besides, an amalgamation of civil society groups in the state has threatened a hunger strike if the policy is not reversed.

Its leader, Comrade Kabiru Saidu Dakata, expressed displeasure with the state government over the issue.

Commercial banks, it was learnt, had earlier in the day opened for business before being compelled to close shop.

State NLC Chairman, Comrade Kabiru Ado Minjibir, said the congress “will continue with the strike and ensure maximum compliance”.

Though normal activities held at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and the Federal Secretariat along Katsina Road within the Kano metropolis.

In Edo State, the exercise was low-key as some government offices and schools opened shop.

The state government had issued a ‘no work no pay’ threat to its employees.

Also in Rivers State, compliance was partial though hundreds of workers took to the streets, forcing the banks that had opened for the day to hastily close down due to concerns that hoodlums might capitalise on the protest to vandalise their premises.

Same pace obtained yesterday in Anambra State as most private and commercial premises transacted normal business activities. But civil servants however, stayed away from work and the few who reported for duty were chased away from their offices by labour officials.

Also yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State, the state Head of Service, Calistus Ekenze and the state NLC chairman, Austine Chilakpu, clashed. The government official had Tuesday ordered workers to stay off citing the subsisting NIC injunction restraining the protest.

But Chilakpu, yesterday, directed civil servants to disregard the directive going ahead to lock up the state secretariat, which the HOS subsequently unlock by breaking the key.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) has directed its members to report to resume work, warning against harassment and intimidation.

The union’s spokesman, Wale Adenaya in a statement yesterday, alleged of plans by Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) members to coerce them.



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