In solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, has given the Federal Government seven days to resolve the ongoing strike or face a total shut down of electricity facilities in the country.
This latest show of solidarity is coming on the heels of similar warnings given by the Nigerian union of Teachers, NUT, and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, which have both given indication that they will down tools if the strike is not resolved soon enough.
NUEE, while justifying its decision to cause nationwide blackout in solidarity with the striking varsity lecturers, said that it could no longer sit back and watch those in positions of authority destroy the future of young Nigerians, who have remained at home for weeks on account of the Federal Government’s refusal to meet the legitimate demands by ASUU.
General Secretary of NUEE, Mr Joe Ajaero, who spoke at a training workshop for labour leaders in the power sector in Enugu, said that electricity workers across the country would be directed to join other progressive labour unions “to shut down the country” as a way of showing their displeasure over the lingering face-off between the Federal Government and the academic staff.
“We can no longer sit back and watch this disturbing drama going on between the Federal government and ASUU. If the strike is not addressed within the next one week, NUEE and other progressive unions will shut down the country,” Mr. Ajaero said.
“It is unfortunate that those in power are not bothered about the closure of the universities. They are less concerned because none of their children are studying in Nigerian universities.
“Their children are overseas just as they travel overseas for medical attention because they have allowed our hospitals to die. Whether our children are out of school or not they are not bothered but we are going to join our children to stay at home from next week.”
The union urged the National Assembly to make laws that will ban public office holders from sending their children and wards to study abroad just as foreign medical trips by public officers should also be outlawed to enable government address the numerous problems bedeviling the nation.
“Our public institutions are dead because those unpatriotic leaders have nothing to do with them but when they are banned from traveling overseas to access improved facilities, they will have no option than to look inward and address our numerous challenges,” he added.