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Port Harcourt on lockdown as Rivers workers join nationwide strike

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By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The management of public schools in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital and its environs sent their students home and shut down the schools in compliance with the nationwide strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC on Monday morning.

Mrs Agnes Amadi, a teacher at Community Secondary Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt who spoke to our correspondent said, “We had to send our students home, because of the nationwide strike. This will really affect the students who are supposed to write their West Africa School Certificate Examination today. But we have no choice but to obey NLC directive”.

Our correspondent reports that branches of major financial institutions in Port Harcourt were also under lock and key.

Mr Johnson Ezenna, a security guard at the gate of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) at Rumuokoro Port Harcourt in an interview said, “The bank is locked because of the strike nobody is allowed into the premises today.”

At the Port Harcourt International Airport,Omagwa, passengers were stranded as all activities were grounded.

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Following the directive of NLC and TUC, workers at the Port Harcourt airport under the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) blocked vehicular access to the area which forced passengers to come down and walk into the airport.

It was observed that though flights were not disrupted, checking- in or boarding of passengers were not allowed by the striking workers.

Passengers were also compelled to carry their luggages by themselves without the services Airport luggage carriers.

Also, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN shut down port operations nationwide in compliance with the strike directive NLC and TUC.

An official of the Union told journalists that besides Lagos ports, other port formations in Port Harcourt, Warri, Onne, Calabar, and others have been closed till further notice.

According to the official, the ports would remain shut until further notice from the national leadership of organized labour.

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