22 May 2016, Abuja – The Nigeria Labour Congress has called an emergency meeting of its organs – the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee – for Sunday (today) to deliberate on the ongoing strike and the way forward.
The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, told our correspondent on the telephone on Saturday that the major organs of the congress would meet to appraise the indefinite strike called to protest the recent increase in the fuel pump price from N86 to N86.50k to N145.
Ozo-Eson said that the decision to call the meeting was not as a result of the peace parley between chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, led by its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the leaders of the organised labour at the Labour House on Friday.
Tinubu and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State had appealed to the NLC under the leadership of Mr. Ayuba Wabba to call off the current strike in the interest of the country.
The NLC scribe said that the Federal Government had not contacted the congress for talks after the meeting of the delegation from the APC with the NLC.
He said, “There has been no such move and no communication from them (the government).
It is normal that we called a meeting to look at where we are and at what is happening. We will put all the facts on the table and discuss.
“We should be meeting some of our organs tomorrow (Sunday) evening. Both organs, (the NEC and the National Working Committee) will meet. We want to be able to have good information and first and information across the country, as to know where we are and where we are going.”
Ozo-Eson, who also spoke on the comment by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, that resumed talks with the organised labour could only commence if the strike was called off, noted that only the organs of the NLC could take a decision on that.
“We have never foreclosed negotiation; the organ will take that decision, there is no position as of now.
“Like we keep emphasising, we are a democratic body, we have all the state councils making up NEC, we have all the industrial unions making up NEC, when we discuss these things, whatever is the democratic decision is what we implement,” he added.
Also the Deputy President of the NLC, Mr. Peter Adeyemi, responded to the statement by the minister of labour. He said that the labour would not take dictations from the government.
He stated, “We don’t take dictation from government. The minister of labour and employment can say anything. He is entitled to his opinion.”