Following the expiration of the seven working days strike notice issued to the Kogi State Government on Thursday 21st September, 2017, the organized labour in Kogi State has directed workers to resume their earlier suspended indefinite strike from Friday 22nd September, 2017.
The unions comprising the Joint session of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Public Service Joint Negotiating Council (PSJBC), noted that the strike was the only life line left for workers in Kogi state to negotiate their survival in the hands of the present administration.
Announcing the strike on Thursday, the TUC chairman in Kogi State Ranti Ojo said “never in the history of our state has civil servants recorded the massive hunger induced death as being witnessed currently, not to talk of trauma, anguish, pains, sickness, penury, truncation of children’s education, huge unsettled house rent/ medical bill etc that workers and pensioners are currently experiencing. We must rise against this now or never.”
He noted that the government’s white paper on the screening exercise being currently implemented was aimed at achieving massive retrenchment of workers, precisely all those in the directorate cadre and civil servants that have 5 years and below to retire.
This according to Ojo had already started with permanents secretaries.
The union while expressing their resolve to remain committed in their demands as contained in their letter sent to the Kogi State Government dated 13th September, 2017, however direct all workers in the State Civil Service to stay away from government offices, establishment, institutions and facilities.
It also urged civil servant to ignore and discountenance all threat, intimidations, blackmail from government quarters, stressing that the escapades of tyrants can only be checked by courage, perseverance and resoluteness.
“All Muslims civil servants are to pray in their respective mosques on Friday 22nd September, 2017 and Christians civil servants to pray in their churches on Sunday 24th September, 2017, for God to protect our labour leaders and the entire workers in the course of this struggle.
“The General Public and the entire workers are also enjoined to pray earnestly and consistently for God to rescue Kogi Workers and our dear state. Comrade remain calm, law abiding and prayerful, but prepared to stay at home for eternity if it takes the government eternity to meet all our demands”, Ojo added.
Meanwhile, the State chairman Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) comrade Onoh Edoka while fielding questions from journalists on the strike dared the state government to sack workers who complied with the industrial action.
According to him, Kogi State civil servants had suffered enough in the hands of the current administration, pointing that their would be no sabotage on the strike.
“Workers will surely comply on the strike because it was their decision for us to resume it.
“I besiege you journalists to go round tomorrow and see for your self. All government offices will be shot down”, he said.
Edoka also described as laughable the rumour making the rounds that the Kogi State Government has the intension to proscribe labour unions in the state.
“When I heard the information, I described it as the joke of the century. I believe his legal adviser has told him that what he did to KSU lecturers was one of the greatest mistakes he made as the chief executive of this state.
“He cannot proscribe NLC, TUC, and other union because they all belong to the exclusive list”, the NLC chairman Stated.
In another development, local government workers in the state will not be part of the strike.
According to the president Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), comrade Tade Adeyemi, the union alongside Medical and health workers union of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has issued a seven-day ultimatum, commencing from 20th September 2017 to the Kogi State government to meet their demands or join the strike called by their sister unions in the state.
He said local government workers will join the strike latest 27th September, 2017 if the state government fails to meet their demands.