Total Blackout Looms In Nigeria As Electricity Workers Vow To Join Nationwide Protests On Tuesday, Wednesday Over University Lecturers, ASUU Strike

Electricity workers in Nigeria under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have announced that they will join the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in its solidarity protests over the lingering Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike this week.

NLC had directed workers to embark on nationwide protests on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26 and 27, 2022 respectively in solidarity with the ongoing strike by ASUU, which is in its fifth month.

Banks and airports may also be shut down as aviation and financial institution workers have previously vowed to join the struggle.

However, security agencies, especially the police have warned the NLC to obtain permission from state police commands before embarking on the protests. But lawyers and civil society organisations have accused the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of trying to intimidate protesters and demonstrators, saying Nigeria’s Constitution gives citizens the right to protest peacefully without hindrance.

ASUU, the umbrella body of the Nigerian University lecturers embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14 to demand the implementation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, which stipulates funding arrangements for university education in the country.

After the expiration of the warning strike, it was extended following the government’s failure to agree on the implementation plan. The government has since said it lacks the financial resources to implement the agreement and efforts to broker a new agreement have since ended in a deadlock.

However, ahead of Tuesday’s protest, the General Secretary of NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, has directed all its members to participate in the protest over the prolonged closure of tertiary institutions.

Ajaero in a letter dated July 22, said “In line with the NLC’s directive and our position, which was made known at the Central Working Committee and National Executive Council meeting of Congress,” the letter reads.

“All members of the union are enjoined to massively mobilise and actively participate in the NLC/ASUU solidarity protest against the continued closure of the nation’s tertiary institutions, scheduled for July 26/27, 2022.

“You are encouraged to work with the leadership of State Executive Councils of the congress in your various states with a view of having a successful outing. Aluta Continua!”