the Governor Rochas Okorocha
administration in Imo State
may have died a natural death
on arrival, following the heated
negotiations between the state
government and leadership
of the organised labour led by
the National President of the
Nigerian Labour Congress,
NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba.
Governor Okorocha, who
had sworn not to drop the
policy in spite of its growing
unpopularity, may have eaten
the humble pie by agreeing to
recall workers suspended for
protesting against the policy
and has even promised that
no one would be victimised
in connection with the recent
disagreement between labour
and government in the state.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls
that no fewer than 20 Parastatals,
including health institutions, in
the state were to be concessioned
but the government made volte
face following the warning strike
embarked upon by the organised
labour. The strike paralysed
socio-economic and government
activities in the state.
In a statement read out before
the protesting workers, the NLC
boss, comrade Wabba, shortly
after the negotiations, said the
government had accepted the
terms based on the demand of
the workers.
In the agreement, the
government accepted to retain
its affairs with not more that
30 percent of the verified
revenue for the month, while
the committee will apply the
balance of 70 percent in the
settlement of salaries of public
servants and pensioners.
According to the statement of
the joint government /Labour
Negotiation in Imo State, which
was jointly signed by Hon Ikenna
Eme, Princes A. N. Eluwa,
the Solicitor General of Imo
State for government and Imo
State NLC chairman, Comrade
Austin Chilapku, Comrade Ezeji
S. C. TUC chairman among
eight other union leaders for
NLC in the presence of Waba,
the workers were directed to
suspend the protest and go back
to work without delay.
The agreement also stated
that with immediate effect from
January 2016, government will
source its revenue which would
be verified by the joints committee
of government and labour.
On Thursday, protesters clad
in black attire and displaying
placards with unprintable
inscriptions caused hectic traffic
jam in the state capital and
its environs even as schools,
some banks, all ministries,
departments and agencies of
government as well as corporate
bodies were shutdown.
At the Sam Mbakwe
International Cargo Airport,
SMICA, Owerri, passengers
travelling to various destinations
were seen stranded at the
airport as there were no flights
coming or going, following the
barricading of the runway and
tarmac by angry workers.
Earlier in his address during the
protest, the National President
NLC, Comrade Wabba had
demanded for immediate recall
of all sacked workers and stop
to further sack of workers in
the state without laid down
While the labour protest was
on, over 10,000 youths and
other supporters of Governor
Okorocha converged at the
Government House in a
solidarity march in favour of the
concessioning policy of the state
Addressing the crowd, Owelle
Okorocha alleged that the plan
to shut down the state over the
concession issue was politically
motivated and accused labour
leaders of acting the script of the
He said the state government
would not continue to pay
salaries to workers who are
indolent and unproductive,
stressing that the present
economic realities in the country
calls for urgent action to save
the coming generation from
avoidable doom.
Also addressing the crowd,
the national chairman of All
Progressives Congress, APC
Chief John Odigie Oyegun,
declared the party’s 100
percent support for Governor
Okorocha’s effort to transform
Imo and called on the youths
to defend their wellbeing by
standing behind the governor