In response to their President Joe Ajaero’s beating and kidnapping, organized labor, which is made up of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, has announced plans for a statewide strike.
At a press conference on Friday, the strike that is set for Wednesday, November 8, 2023, was announced.
The joint union leaders have presented a six-point demand to the Federal Government, which includes the immediate removal of the Imo State Commissioner of Police, the Area Commander, and other officials for their alleged involvement in the brutalization and humiliation of Ajaero and other workers.
Tommy Okon, the deputy president of the TUC, and Adeyanju Adewale, the deputy president of the NLC, spoke to the media on behalf of the union.
“The NLC President was blindfolded and whisked away by security operatives in the state before intervention from the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu,” according to the conference text.
The union went on to say, “The Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Barde, should not only be investigated and redeployed but he should also be held accountable for his actions against Ajaero.”
“The Area Commander and the other officers who oversaw the brutalization of our President and other workers in Owerri should be fired and stripped of their commission.”
“We demand an unbiased and thorough investigation into the President’s physical and psychological injuries.” And all destroyed properties must be quickly restored.”
They emphasized that if the government does not satisfy their demands, the NUC, TUC, and their affiliates will no longer be able to ensure the country’s calm because there will be widespread protests.
According to OHAFIATV News, Ajaero was arrested by police during a protest in the state capital against the Imo State Government’s failure to pay workers.
In response to the arrest, the NLC accused the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, of conniving with the state commissioner of police, Barde, to ‘abduct’ their president, Joe Ajaero, on Wednesday.
The Imo State Government, according to the NLC, has persisted in using “the instrument of violence and intimidation” against trade unions and their leadership in the state. The NLC further stated that they had merely requested that the governor reimburse the state employees for their unpaid salaries.
The joint secretaries of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, Emmanuel Ugboaja (NLC) and Nuhu Toro (TUC), signed a statement titled “The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, has been abducted by Hope Uzodimma and the Imo State Police Commissioner” that was made available to newsmen on Wednesday. They expressed disapproval of Ajaero’s detention and emphasized the necessity of President Bola Tinubu’s intervention.
However, Ajaero’s arrest was disputed by the governor and the state police command in different announcements.
The NLC President, according to the police, was in Owerri as part of the Congress’s efforts to organize workers for a large protest in the state.
During the planning stages, there were allegations of proposals to lock down several critical infrastructures, most notably the state airport.
Meanwhile, Declan Emelumba, the state commissioner of information and strategy, stated that the governor had no involvement in Ajaero’s detention, adding, “Those accusing the government are perennial mischief makers, always crying wolf where there is none.”
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