By Michael Oche
Workers in the health sector, banks, construction, public service and electricity sector have all threatened to down tools in protest of the Federal government’s refusal to halt the prolonged strike action embarked by unions in public Universities in Nigeria.
Nigerian Pilot reports that the four University based Unions, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have been on strike for over 5 months.
In separate statements, the unions, while pledging to fully mobilise in support of the two-day nationwide protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), also threatened to embark on sympathy strikes in support of the protracted crises in the University sector.
The mass protest is scheduled to be held across 36 States and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory for two days beginning from Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th July 2022.
Health Workers under the umbrella of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), has said its members may embark on a solidarity strike in support of the Unions in the University sector if the Federal Government fails to resolve the issue within a reasonable time.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by MHWUN national president, Com. Biobelemoye J. Josiah and Acting Secretary General, Com. Auwalu Yusuf Kiyawa.
The Health Workers said no responsible Government would close down its Public Tertiary Institutions in this 21st century because of patriotic demands for a better funding of its Universities and good welfare for its teaching and non-teaching staff, saying this is shameful.
According to the statement, “The leadership of is particularly irked that the Federal Government and the political Actors have abandoned the children of the poor masses at home to waste away, instead they are seen dissipating energy and resources that could have been used to resolve the issue to fund political tussle to occupy plum offices that previous occupiers have failed to use for the benefit of the masses.”
Also, workers in the power sector under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have confirmed they would join the NLC nationwide protest.
In a memo with ref. NUEE/NS/2022/008, General Secretary, Joe Ajaero communicated the decision after a meeting of the central working committee and national working committee.
All members were directed to “massively mobilize and actively participate in the NLC/ASUU solidarity protest”.
The National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) has also said it will join the NLC in its solidarity strike over the lingering ASUU strike.
NUBIFIE said this in a statement signed by Its National President, Mr Anthony Abakpa, and General Secretary, Mr Mohammed Sheikh.