NLC Refutes Senate President’s Claims of Economic Sabotage, Defends Workers’ Right to Strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has strongly refuted recent claims by Senate President Godswill Akpabio that the ongoing nationwide strike by the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) constitutes economic sabotage.

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In a press release, the NLC described Akpabio’s accusations as “baseless and deeply troubling for Nigerian patriots and democracy advocates.” The strike, which began on June 3rd, was initiated in response to the federal government’s refusal to conclude national minimum wage negotiations, reverse electricity tariff hikes, and end discriminatory consumer classifications.

The NLC stated that the legally conducted strike reflects the frustration of Nigerian workers facing economic hardships and deteriorating working conditions. They argued that Akpabio’s statements undermine the democratic principles the Senate professes to uphold, and that the National Assembly should understand and be guided by the sentiments of the people.

“Strikes are not only legal but a civic duty and a critical tool for holding those in authority and power accountable,” the NLC said. “It is a democratic right, essential for preventing dictatorship and social collapse.”

The labor union accused the political elite of wilfully sabotaging Nigeria through corruption and abuse of power for the past 25 years, rather than the workers. They called on patriotic members of the Senate and House of Representatives to distance themselves from Akpabio’s “damaging remarks.”

The NLC further urged the Senate President to address the underlying issues leading to the strike through constructive dialogue and genuine efforts to improve living standards, instead of engaging in “eye-service criticism.” They warned against the militarization of the trade union dispute and any attempts to undermine legitimate labor actions.

The NLC remains committed to protecting workers’ rights and advocating for fair economic policies and a realistic national minimum wage. They expressed openness to dialogue with the government for sustainable solutions benefiting all Nigerians.

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