It was near mayhem at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, today, as Nigerian workers aligned to the Joe Ajaero faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) were prevented from staging their traditional May Day rally planned for the venue, by the police.
Following the split of the NLC into two factions, last month, observers had feared that the May Day rally was going to produce skirmishes if the workers of both factions were to clash at any point in the celebrations.
Reacting to the development, president of the Africa Railway Workers Union and President General of Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, aligned to the Ajaero faction of the NLC, Comrade R. B. Okoro, condemned the lock out of his group by the police, just as he accused the federal government of taking sides in labour’ s internal disputes.
Comrade Okoro who apparently was unhappy over Joe Ajaero-led NLC being locked out of the National Stadium Lagos venue of their Workers’ Day celebration said the government has no business taking sides in the conflict within the union.
“You can see today they have locked us out and we are hearing it is the same with the Eagle Square in Abuja. We actually created that crack in the wall and the lizard had to enter but they should not rejoice much for we are coming back in full force, he said.
“We even see a situation where they may instigate further divisions within our ranks because Nigerian governments are noted for divide and rule in labour matters but we will guard against that and ensure that this rift within NLC does not last longer than necessary and at the end of the day we will all come back as a strong and impenetrable labour movement,”