The Imo Hoteliers Association has urged the State Government and electricity workers to seek diplomatic solution to their differences that led to power outage in the state.
The association’s Chairman, Mr Chima Chukwunyere, made the request at a news briefing in Owerri on Saturday.
It was reported that electricity workers in the state declared industrial dispute against the government in the wake of the reported arrest and manhandling of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Mr Joe Ajaero, by the police on Wednesday.
The Imo Command’s Spokesman, ASP Henry Okoye, however, denied the allegation, saying that Ajaero was whisked away by the police for safety, after he was attacked by a mob while leading a protest in Owerri.
Reacting to the effect of the industrial dispute, Chukwunyere said that the power outage was having a “debilitating effect on the industry”, with some facilities shutting down.
He said that with diesel selling at N1,300 per litre, “it has become increasingly difficult to sustain the industry, following the outage”.
According to him, some staff members of hotels have already lost their jobs as their employers can no longer sustain their salaries amidst increased running cost, a fallout of the blackout.
“We are calling on the State Government to put a human face and employ diplomacy in the current situation.
“Also, we want the NLC to understand that although they are fighting for the rights of the masses, it will not be morally right to take decisions capable of subjecting the masses to more hardship,” he said.
Chukwunyere said that the group was caught unawares by the power outage, saying that there was no notice of strike by labour.
“We therefore call for diplomatic solution to the disagreement,“ Chukwunyere said.