action called by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, was unsucessful in Ogun State, yesterday, as stakeholders pulled out of the planned strike and protest.
Our correspondent, who was on the streets in the early hours of yesterday, observed that schools, banks, markets and even government establishments and parastatals were opened for business.
Although many students of public schools were turned back by teachers, other schools were opened, though with skeletal operations.
At the Ogun State Secretariat in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the two gates were widely opened, while some of the workers were at their duty post as early as 8am.
Banks along the popular Lalubu road in Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, also opened for business except Diamond bank which closed its gate against customers in the early hours of the day, but later opened at 10am.
Workers at The State Hospital in Ijaye and the Federal Medical Center in Idi-Aba were at their duty posts.
At the Isabo High and Magistrate Courts, magistrates and high court judges were seen in front of the courts as the two gates were under lock and key.
At the NLC secretariat in Leme, the protest which was earlier billed to begin by 7am did not start until 10am as members of the union were not on ground to join the action.
The protest led by the State NLC Chairman, Comrade Akeem Ambali, and Folari Olayinka of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, marched through Kuto, Isabo, Ibara streets and ended at the NUJ secretariat though with very few members.
Ambali, while addressing the press, explained that the protest was decentralised in the state, adding that it would take place in all the 20 local government areas.
Ambali, who described the action as a total compliance, however, took a swipe at the Trade Union Congress, TUC, for pulling out of the action.
“We are doing it in all the local governments, Sagamu is doing their own, Ijebu-Igbo is doing their own, we decentralised, what we are doing here is just to kick-start it in Abeokuta and you can also see that in Ijebu Igbo, they are marching towards Apoje in Sagamu, they have been on the road and people are even joining them.
“In Abeokuta, because of my late arrival, that is why we are waiting for our people but despite this, you can see that many of our leaders are present, we didn’t say all workers should come here, we said leaders alone.
“For us, we are happy because we witnessed full compliance, as I was on the road, I was monitoring, I realised that schools and hospitals were closed down and I also realised that Nigerians are also happy that despite the distraction and propaganda, labour has come out to defend the interest of Nigerians.
“That some people are working is understandable, members of one organisation decided to pull out at the tail end of the action and that is the beauty of democracy in labour. Labour is a democratic organisation, the minority will have their say while the majority would have their way. When you look at the other organisation, you can situate why they behave that way. But for us, we want Nigerians to know who is on their side and who is working for them.”
Meanwhile, Ambali alleged that three of their members were arrested in Sagamu during the protest, but the police faulted the claim, saying it was a figment of his imagination.
The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who dispelled the allegation, said the labour leaders initially blocked roads to prevent vehicular and human movement and that the police stepped in and it was resolved.