By Abdullahi Yusuf
Palpable fear and panic have gripped residents of Kano, ahead of the indefinite nationwide strike to be embarked upon by the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC), effective Tuesday, October 3.
The NLC had vowed to commence the industrial action as planned, accusing
government of insensitivity to the sufferings of Nigerians caused by the removal of petrol subsidy.
It was gathered that the impending showdown between Labour and the Government has generated apprehension among many residents of the ancient city.
They fear that the consequences of the crisis could visit adverse consequences on their socio-economic lives, as the NLC plans to shun down the economy during the protests.
Checks in parts of the state capital revealed that many of the inhabitants are stockpiling fuel, foodstuff and other essential commodities, on hearing that the NLC had shunned a meeting summoned by the Federal Government towards resolving the lingering labour dispute.
Our Correspondent observed that the panicking residents are trooping to Sabon Gari market,Rimi market and some shopping malls, among other trading arenas in the city, to purchase essential commodities which could last them through the strike period.
Others were sighted at filling stations replenishing their vehicles’ tanks,while some were seen maximizing the use of electricity, ahead of the strike.
Hajiya Rahamah Isah is one the panicking residents,who told our Correspondent at Rimi market that she came out of her matrimonial home to purchase foodstuff including cooking ingredients to stockpile them ahead of the industrial action.
“And only yesterday I bought several measures of millet, rice and sorghum from the village at a much cheaper rate than here.
“My hope and prayer are that the strike will not last long because we don’t have much money with which to buy large stocks of food items that will sustain us for a long period,” Rahamah, a mother of six, added.
A commercial tricycle operator popularly known as “A DAIDAITA SAHU” in the city, Mohammed Danjummai,who was seen refilling his tank and a Jerry can at a filling station, said he resorted to the measure, having realized that the NLC was ” hell-bent” on going ahead with the strike.
Danjummai said although commercial tricycle operators are expected to join the strike,he was stockpiling fuel for his vehicle for use “for emergency services such as transporting patients to hospital.”
On his part,a local laundry operator,Dantani Amadu, said he had embarked on massive pressing of his customers’ clothes using the available power supply,ahead of the strike.
“Since they said there would be no light during the strike, I have,in the last three days, been working extra time to press the huge stock of my customers’ clothes so as to minimize the loss I might incur during the blackout period,” Amadu explained.