The Nigerian General Strike Of 1945

Mushin Market in Lagos, Nigeria
Emeka Ochiagha
August 24, 2021

In the humid, West African heat, the workers of Lagos were fed up. Inflation was making everything expensive – the only thing that wasn’t rising was their wages. 

This was all the fault of British colonizers. Something had to be done.

A group of Nigerian workers came together. They demanded the government to increase the minimum wage – but their demand was denied. So, to show they were not backing down, they gave the government an ultimatum: increase wages or there would be a strike!

A strike there was. It lasted all summer. The governmental leaders tried to appease the strikers at first by offering a very low increase in wages, but the workers denied it. 

Then the government released a political leader in hopes to calm them – but as soon as Michael Imoudu was released, he became a leader in the strike himself!

The strike started in Lagos, but then spread all over the country. Nigerians had always had tribal divides – but this time they came together to defeat a common enemy. 

And the strike worked! They got a respectable raise and no worker was fired for their participation in the labor struggle.

Nigerians were able to send a bold message to their colonizers. It was only possible because of their power in numbers – which should be a reminder to us on the strength of unity!

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