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Blackout, Fuel Scarcity Greet NLC/TUC Strike

The strike declared on Monday by organised labour in protest against the alleged assault on President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero in Imo State on November 1, but suspended last night, worsened earlier in the day with the scarcity of fuel in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Daily Trust reports that some states were under electricity blackouts while hospitals and public offices remained shut in others.

In Kaduna State, more affiliate unions including National Union of Electricity Employee (NUEE), ASUU, SSANU and IPMAN yesterday joined the industrial action.

In Kaduna reports has it that the industrial action led to electricity blackout and scarcity of petroleum products.

There was electricity in many parts of Kaduna till around 10am yesterday. But the management of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company later issued a statement apologising to its customers across its franchise states, saying that the striking workers have shut down the 33KV feeders supplying the states.

Also observed is scarcity of petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) that hit the state capital, as most filling stations within the metropolis were under lock and key as at yesterday evening.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Kaduna State University (KASU) chapter and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria branch also joined the nationwide strike.

Leaders of the Kaduna State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress moved round to enforce compliance with the strike action as the state and federal secretariats were put under lock and key while banks also did not open to customers.

As of yesterday, public offices including health care facilities across the 13 local government areas of Nasarawa State remained closed owing to the ongoing nationwide strike.

Business and commercial activities in Jos, the Plateau State capital remained dull and scanty yesterday.

Banks, public schools, courts, government offices and public institutions among others remained shut as employees enforced the order of the strike by the unions.

It was learnt that the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the ASUU and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) who did not comply with the strike notice on Tuesday received orders from their union leadership to comply fully on Wednesday.

At the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), only few medical doctors reported to duty. The gates of the federal secretariat and state secretariat remained firmly locked.

The premises of High Court, Jos that used to be a beehive of activities on week days were deserted on Wednesday as the judiciary staff complied fully with the strike.

Travellers, who intended to travel out of the state through the state-owned company, Plateau Express Service, were left stranded as the drivers of the government buses failed to report to duty.

The industrial action also yesterday paralysed public and commercial activities in Dutse, capital of Jigawa State.

The Chairman of NLC in Jigawa State, Comrade Sanusi Alhassan commended his members for maximum compliance.

Patients at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, were stranded on Wednesday as doctors and nurses failed to attend to them following the ongoing nationwide strike.

On Wednesday, doctors, nurses, midwives, laboratory officials, record keepers and other staff of the OOUTH were seen returning home, saying “We have joined the strike, no work today.”

Patients and other individuals who visited the facility for whatever reasons were sent back.

The NLC Chairman in Ogun State, Hammed Ademola Benco, described the compliance to the strike as encouraging.

The nationwide strike also crippled academic activities at the Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Meanwhile, in Osogbo, the state capital, the strike did not have much effect as people were seen going about their normal businesses unhindered.

In Delta State, the NLC/TUC strike gained more compliance as commercial banks and Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) complied with the directive to commence strike.

It paralysed activities in Warri with the popular Warri Port gate barricaded, while government-owned schools remained closed.

The main entrance of Warri Port was barricaded by TUC officials.

Workers of Warri South Local Government Council, Warri, were instructed to stay off their duty posts by the branch leadership of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE.

However, in Anambra State, the strike recorded a partial compliance on Wednesday.


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