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Senator Adams Oshiomhole yesterday declared that the ongoing nationwide strike declared by organised labour is a misplaced priority. All Nigeria Latest News reports.

Oshiomole stated that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) should take up issues on workers’ welfare rather than what will portray them as partisan.

The former Edo State governor wondered why the labour centres would not take on state governments that are not paying the N30,000 minimum wage but would embark on industrial action simply because its leader was assaulted.

He spoke yesterday at Aso Villa after a meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima.

The NLC and TUC called the strike yesterday to protest last week’s physical attack on NLC President Joe Ajaero in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

All Nigeria Latest News had reported that Festus Osifo, TUC President on Monday announced the industrial action saying it will be indefinite.

But the Former Edo State Governor said: “Unfortunately, this strike is not about those issues. 

“And I think we have to be careful not to mix our political opinion with our responsibilities because the issues confronting workers are so many that they should become the priority.”

Oshiomhole urged the NLC to prioritise holding state governments accountable to the N30,000 minimum wage agreement, which covers both local government and state workers.

He said: “The Federal Government had granted N35,000 increase. And those discussions were supposed to be for and on behalf of not only the Federal Government but on behalf of all workers in Nigeria, including those employed by local governments and state governments.

“Additional revenue accruing from the withdrawal of subsidy should trickle down to the states and the local government areas.

“I would have wished that somebody in the NLC recognises that the hunger in the stomach of federal employees is not any worse than the hunger in the stomach of those state employees, nor local government employees.

“If these are the issues on the table, even as a senator, I will publicly support action against any government that thinks that we should lament away our hunger while the people do what they do.

“Labour cannot be apolitical because politics is about the people. And I have argued when I was in NLC that nobody has a right to be partisan much more than those who turn the will of our industrial progress.

“You have to be careful not to be seen to be doing the bidding of a particular candidate or a particular political party. As President of the NLC, I made no friends with any politicians.”

Oshiomhole reiterated his stance against brutality against any Nigerian while stressing that addressing the hierarchy of workers’ needs should be NLC’s focus.

“But, let me be clear. I do not support the brutalisation of any Nigerian. I emphasise, any Nigerian, including a journalist, including the unemployed. Of course, including a Labour leader,” he added.

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