Following the recent abduction and brutalization of Comrade Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, in Owerri, the organised labour comprising of the NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have declared a nationwide strike action commencing Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
This was made known Friday, in a press briefing by the NLC’s Deputy President, Adeyanju Adewale, and TUC’s Deputy President, Tommy Okon, who on behalf of workers gave the Federal Government a six-point demand.
According to them, the federal government must implement the immediate removal of the Commissioner of Police, Imo State, and Area Commander, among other officials, for their alleged complicity in the brutalisation and humiliation of the NLC president.
The joint union which also expressed workers’ worry over the negligence of the Federal Government on the issue and the non-intervention of security personnel despite being briefed about their leaders’ presence in the state, stressed that if the government fails to meet their demands, the NUC, TUC, and their affiliates will no longer guarantee peace in the country, as there will be nationwide protests.
The leaders said, “The NLC President was blindfolded and whisked away by security operatives in the state before intervention from the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu.
“He was also beaten along with other workers with his phone seized, and journalists also maltreated with evidence shrouded away from the public.”
“The Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Barde, should not only be investigated and redeployed but should also be held accountable for his action on Ajaero.
“The Area Commander and the other officers who supervised the brutalisation of our President and other workers in Owerri should be relieved of their office and stripped of their commission.
“Mr Nwaneri Chinasa, Adviser on Special Duties who supervised the terror on workers and brutality meted out to Congress President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, be arrested immediately and prosecuted for his crimes against workers and the President.
“We demand an unbiased and thorough examination of the President on the physical and psychological injuries inflicted on him. And all the properties lost be restored immediately.”
Recall that Ajaero was whisked away by the police at a protest on non-payment of workers by the Imo State Government in Owerri, the state capital.
Reacting to the arrest, NLC accused the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, of conspiring with the state Commissioner of Police, Barde, to ‘abduct’ their President, Joe Ajaero.
According to the NLC, the Imo State Government has continued to use what it described as ‘the instrument of violence and intimidation’ against trade unions and their leadership in the state, adding that they had only asked the governor to pay the salaries owed to the state workers.
In a statement titled, ”The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero has been abducted by Hope Uzodimma and the Imo State Police Commissioner’ signed by the joint Unions’ Secretaries, Emmanuel Ugboaja (NLC) and Nuhu Toro (TUC) on Wednesday, the NLC frowned at the detention of Ajaero stressing the need for President Bola Tinubu’s intervention.
But the state Police Command and the governor, in separate statements, denied arresting Ajaero.
Moreso, while the governor, Hope Uzodimma accused Ajaero of meddling in state politics, the police claimed the NLC President was in Owerri as part of the Congress’ plans to organise workers for a massive protest in the state.
Similarly, state commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, claimed that the governor has no hand in Ajaero’s arrest, adding, “Those accusing the government are perennial mischief makers always crying wolf where there is none.”See Dollar(USD) to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate Today!