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EXCLUSIVE: How FG Used ‘Emotional Blackmail’ To Lure Labour Into Suspending Strike

Indications have emerged as to how the federal government used “emotional blackmail” as a weapon to lure the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) into calling off their industrial strike action.

Emotional blackmail involves using another party’s fear, guilt, or sense of obligation to pressure them to comply with a demand.

The unions had, on Monday night, met with the representatives of the federal government to continue negotiations on the new minimum wage for workers.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris; Minister of State for Labour and Employment; Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Office of the National Security Adviser Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; President NLC Joe Ajaero; and President of TUC Festus Osifo amongst others.

Sources who attended the meeting told THE WHISTLER that some of the representatives from the government side begged the labour leaders to toe the line of patriotism by calling off the strike to protect the nation from shame and embarrassment.

Specifically, THE WHISTLER gathered that the labour leaders were told that the strike should be called off because those attending hajj pilgrim in Saudi Arabia would be stranded as all airport services were grounded indefinitely.

The source said, “Labour union representatives were begged to suspend the strike for a week window for the federal government to propose a substantial minimum wage, this was due to the hajj pilgrims still travelling to Saudi Arabia.

“The government said, the indefinite strike that grounded the airports, would affect the flights of Nigerians on hajj and those going on the journey scheduled for June 10 will lose their money if the strike continues.”

Another source told THE WHISTLER that the Super Eagles of Nigeria will lose three points if their 2026 World Cup qualifying match against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa is not held due to shut down of the nation’s airports as a result of the industrial action.

The Super Eagles match against South Africa is expected to be played on Friday, June 7, 2024, at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

“The government officials also told us that we should suspend the strike because the South Africa football team Bafana Bafana is expected to come into Nigeria for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers this week and the strike will prevent them. If that happens, our Super Eagles will lose three points, for being responsible for Bafana Bafana’s absence for the match,” the source added.

The joint leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress(TUC) on Tuesday called off the nationwide strike.

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