The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) gave the government till 11:59 Tuesday to revert back to the old fuel prices following the government’s decision to increase fuel prices by 67%. The NLC threatened to force another nationwide strike – something every Nigerian is all too familiar with.
Given the same precursor, this strike was supposed to be as huge as the 2012 #OccupyNigeria movement which saw the nation shut down for weeks following former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s decision on the 1st of January 2012 to remove the subsidy on petroleum products but when Wednesday came, we were shocked to see that public schools, banks, markets and many government offices resumed work in various parts of the country even in the nation’s capital.
How did Lagos take the strike?
Lagos is undoubtedly Nigeria’s powerhouse and home to some of the most hardworking people in Africa. There’s hardly ever any time to rest in Lagos and once anything bad befalls Nigeria, Lagosians are the first to feel its impact. This has been the tale for over 5 months now as Lagosians have been bearing the brunt of Nigeria’s petroleum and power crisis. You definitely cannot catch a break here in Lagos and with prices of commodities and standard of living increasing virtually every day, Lagosians have been clamouring for any form of rest to keep their minds away from the horrible reality you are exposed to on the streets of Lagos.
So how did Lagos take the strike? Banks were packed, with workers reportedly resuming work as early as 7am. Customers not sure of the situation arrived just around the same time to make sure they get their transactions done before the NLC showed up at the scene.
Activities in Ojuelegba, Mushin and Ikorodu road remained as normal as can be and although later in the day there were reports of protests breaking out in Ikeja, Yaba and Ikorodu, the business situation in Lagos didn’t change much.
We can understand Nigerians’ hesitation to take part in the strike as the government termed the strike action “illegal” and vowed to invoke the “no work, no pay” action on those involved if caught.