NORMAL activities are continuing in Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa, and Jigawa states, as residents ignored the call by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to embark on strike over the increase in pump price of fuel. In Gombe state there was partial compliance.
Correspondents who monitored the situation in those states report that key institutions like banks, schools, state and federal secretariats, hospitals, markets and all major commercial, centres were open for normal activities. In Bauchi where some youths demonstrated the previous day in support of the deregulation of the downstream oil sector, labour officials did not attempt to enforce the strike.
A civil servant working with the state government, Sanusi Ibrahim, said most workers were not in support of the strike. “When we were not paid our salary for over eight months, what did the NLC do? Before the removal of subsidy, we were buying fuel at the cost of N300 per litre; in some states, even N500. Now the fuel is available at maximum of N145. The NLC should leave us alone,” he said.
Contacted on telephone Wednesday for his comment, Chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade Hashimu Gitel, told NAN that he was on his way to Abuja. He however said that his other colleagues would brief the press later in the day. Normal activities are also going on in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, with banks, schools, hospitals, state and federal secretariats open for business. An official of the NLC in the state who did not want his name mentioned, told NAN that they would meet later in the day to decide on their next line of action.
In Yola also normal activities are going on in Yola and other major towns of Adamawa as schools, banks, markets, as well as the State and Federal secretariats remained open. Many people who spoke on the failure of the strike said they were not convinced that the action was the best alternative in the present circumstance.
Mallam Adamu Danwanzam, the chairman of Yola Perishable Food Items Sellers Association, said his members were not in support of the strike action. Also speaking, the state chairman of Private School Proprietors in Adamawa, Hajiya Dijatu Balla, said her members had no business with the strike action. Malam Husaini Isa, chairman of Commercial Tricycle Association in Adamawa, also distanced his members from the strike, pointing out that for many months, his members had been buying fuel for N200 per litre, as such the new prize of N145 per litre was a relief.
When contacted on the development, the state NLC chairman, Comrade Dauda Maina, said he could not comment as he was still in Abuja. “I am still in Abuja where I missed my flight back due to lack of aviation fuel, but I have given mandate to my vice and other union officials to ensure compliance with the strike,” Maina said.
The situation is the same in Dutse as people went about their normal businesses. A visit to the State and Federal secretariats, civil servants were seen attending to their official duties. . A bank staff who pleaded for anonymity said that they observed the situation for some time and decided to open at about 9:00am as against official time of 8:00am. Officers and men of Nigeria Police force were seen in strategic places to ensure safety of lives and property.
There was however a partial compliance in Gombe as the NLC Monitoring Committee went round to ensure compliance. Most places of work, schools, banks and the state radio and television stations were closed. Malam Haruna Kamara, chairman of NLC in the state, told NAN that a committee was inaugurated and vested with the responsibility of ensuring compliance with the NLC directive. However no ugly incident was recorded in any of the states.
— May 18, 2016 @ 13:50 GMT