Labour strike partially successful in Akwa Ibom

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By; Patrick Titus, Uyo.

Normal business activities in other public establishments in the state have been grounded following the nationwide industrial action embarked upon by a faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over the recent federal government hike in pump price of petrol.

These establishments include public primary and post-primary schools; Idongesit Nkanga state secretariat in Uyo which houses government ministries and departments and similar offices across the 31 local government areas of the state; judiciary headquarters and courts as well as federal secretariat in Uyo.

New Nigerian checks also showed that the University of Uyo branch of Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) has joined in the strike with members staying away from work.

To ensure total compliance in the state, officials of the twin labour organisations had as earlier as 6.30 am on Wednesday dispatched themselves in groups to these public institutions and prevented workers access their offices by locking the gates.

Pupils and students in public primary and post primary schools who were already in classrooms had the teachings disrupted midway and sent home by Labour officials who moved round the institutions to enforce compliance to the strike order.

However while Labour succeeded in enforcing compliance in the above listed places, commercial banks, markets, petrol stations, transport operators, and private schools etc were operating normal activities in the state without interference as at when the strike began on Wednesday.

At Government House in Uyo; state radio – AKBC Radio and Atlantic Radio – federal government radio station normal activities were seen going unhindered.

Efforts to speak with the chairmen or secretaries of either NLC or TUC in the state on why the strike was partial in the state were not successful as they were said to have been away to Abuja. But unauthorized sources said the organized labour leaders were still monitoring the outcome of the meeting between congress officials and price reviewing committee in Abuja.

According to the sources, since the strike has just began, the outcome of the Abuja meeting would decide the next steps to follow as regard total strike in the state.

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the state governor on labour, productivity and public service matters, Mr. Ekpenyong Enyina has appealed to the civil servants in the state to return to work, adding the federal government has set up a committee to review the new pump price of petrol.

Enyina while speaking with journalists at the gate of Idongesit Nkanga secretariat in Uyo however commended labour for being peaceful in their struggle with government to emancipate workers.

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