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News Update (January 10, 2012 10:57 AM...)

Turnout for strike drops as activities pick up in Bauchi


Bauchi (WorldStage Newsonline)-- Compliance with labour directive to protest the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government was low on Tuesday compared with that of Monday, as the economic activities picked up gradually in Bauchi.

But there were tight in town as men of the Nigeria Police were seen in most parts of the state capital providing security, while strategic places, including PHCN installations and stations, NNPC mega station and its affiliate stations in Bauchi metropolis were manned by both the police and Army.

Though, while banks, government offices, filling stations, among many other establishment in the state remained shut some shop owners opened for business activities, while commercial drivers and Okada operators carried out skeletal services within the metropolis.

It was observed that more people were on the roads going about their various activities with more vehicles on the roads.

Motorists and Okada operators put leaves on their vehicles to indicate their solidarity with the protesters as they went about carrying passengers.

Some of the people said though they were in support of NLC, they had to come out and carry out economic activities since they were not government employees, as things were becoming difficult for them within the 24 hours the protest started.

A driver who spoke on condition of anonymity said that though the labour was fighting the cause of the ordinary Nigerians, he could no longer stay at home.

"I have to feed myself and members of my family," he said

He said the subsidy removal had made life more difficult for the common man, but the strike had further compounded it.

A shop owner said since she was not a government worker that received salary every month where would she get rent to paid for the shop at the end of the month?

"Each time there is any national strike like the ongoing one, it is the common people like me that always suffer for it. How many people are working for the government? No matter what, those ones will get their salary at the end of the strike, but who is going to pay people like me. Nobody, she said.

Story by Theo Adegoke (adegoketheo@yahoo.com)

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