THE looming industrial crisis in Kogi state assumed a new dimension on Wednesday as the organised labour said the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has 24 hours to avert another round of strike in the state.
The workers also said they were abreast of the antics of the state government to divide the labour force with threats, intimidation and unfounded allegations.
The organised labour in a statement by the Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Olakunle Faniyi and Kolawole James respectively, alleged that government officials had been going around to accuse the labour leaders of demanding for money.
According to the statement, the workers noted that government officials including commissioners, special advisers and other top government functionaries had been threatening the workers with sack if they participate in the strike.
The workers said anybody that sack any of their members for embarking on strike, would be sacked from office.
The statement reads, “Government has mobilised all her political appointees against the workers whom they have made hapless. These appointees have been tutored on the effective use of threat and intimidation against the workers and blackmail against the leadership of the organised labour.
“You should know that as they take counsel to sack you if you go on strike to protest their ill- treatments of workers, God in Heaven and the host of Angels shall take counsel to sack them. As they resolve to withhold your entitlements for crying out against their oppressive policies, the almighty God shall withdraw his favour from them.
“We urge you to ignore all the threats and intimidations of these mere mortals. Be courageous because, our immortal God is a just God and we know our struggle is just struggle. Be steadfast, be firm and you shall see the manifestation of the almighty power of God against your assailants in the next few weeks.”
The labour leaders also admonished the workers to jettison the rumour being peddled by government cronies that they (labour leader) declared strike because the government refused to bribe its leadership.
The labour however said the state government can still take the 24 hours windows of opportunity to dialogue with them on how to salvage the situations; failure to which they averred will make them commence the proposed strike on Friday.