As the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike which has already inspired the making of one or two Nollywood movies continues in what seem to be an unrelenting battle of wills with the Federal Government of Nigeria, the National Union of Electrical Employees (NUEE) is stoking the red hot fire some more by threatening to shut down Nigeria (probably ‘borrowing’ a leaf from the USA current ‘Shutdown’) with a mother-of-all-strikes, if the ASUU strike is not addressed.
According to THE SUN:
Labour activist and General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, Joe Ajaero has given the Federal Government one week to resolve its differences with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) or cripple the country with the mother-of-all-strikes.
Ajaero who was speaking during the opening of a training workshop organized for labour leaders in Enugu, threatened to ally with other unions across the country to join ASUU on a solidarity stike if the impasse persists.
He said: “If ASUU issue is not addressed, we will shut this country alongside other unions. We will ally with other unions and make sure that nothing works in this country.”
Ajaero said government was being insensitive to the plight of Nigerian students because the children of the rich are studying outside the country.
“This is not a strike based on demand, it’s based on agreement. As government, you must honour your agreement. Here, there’s no social security, the price of food is high, the same goes for electricity tariff. We are going to join our children to stay at home and let them run the system,” he threatened.
The labour leader said that the time has come to bar public office holders form sending their children to schools abroad or travel overseas for free treatment, noting that not until then, will government take the various institutions serious and put things the way they should be.
Ajaero however, reassured electricity workers that the union would ensure that everybody receive their entitlements before the final handover to private investors and urged them to make good and judicious use of the money and not go on spending spree.
“They are playing politics with us but all we have told them is to give us our entitlements and we will handover tomorrow. They said before the end of this week; if we don’t see evidence of payment, we won’t handover.”
According to him, the workshop is to prepare them for better management of the funds through skill acquisitions and entrepreneurial skills and urged them to take the workshop serious.
It is hoped that these issues will be resolved properly and amicably in good time. With the plethora of strikes, security issues and other unmentionables bugging the country at the moment, it will not do anyone any good if the country as it is, is further crippled in this tug of war.