Organised Labour accuses Imo State Govt of abducting NLC President, Ajero

By Ifeanyi Eduzor

Organised Labour in the country has accused Governor Hope Uzodinma and the Imo State Commissioner of Police of masterminding the abduction of the National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajero.
It also accused the government of Imo State of continuous use of the instrument of violence and intimidation against trade unions and their leadership in the state.
According to a press release by the unions signed by NLC General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja Esq.mni
and his Trade Union congress counterpart, Comrade Nuru Toro it stated that Nigerian workers gathered early this mourning in Owerri led by the leadership of the two trade unions to demonstrate their outrage over the serial and habitual abuse and violation of the rights of workers in the state only for the State Government to use Police men and thugs to unleash mayhem on them and in the process injuring and whisking away the NLC President to an unknown place.
” We want to draw the attention of Nigerians to the unwarranted mayhem unleashed on workers today in Owerri by the Imo State Government aided by Police men and hired thugs.
“Earlier in the morning, Police men had tried to disperse workers who were
gathering at the state NLC secretariat without success. This was followed in the usual manner by thugs who were stationed very close to the Secretariat in several Hilux and Toyota trucks.
“These thugs were later to unleash mayhem on the few workers who had already gathered smashing car windscreens, delivering matchet cuts on some, stabbing many and inflicting all manners of injuries on the workers. “GSM handsets were snatched, Laptops taken away and monies were forcefully taken away by the
“As if that damage was not enough, the President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero arrived the venue accompanied by few individual workers to inspect the carnage and to provide the necessary leadership for the trade union action to continue
only to be met by officers of the Imo state Police Command who came in their numbers and in several trucks.
The statement further stated that the Police in their usual manner accompanied by thugs led by the Special Assistant to the Governor of Imo state on Special Duties; Mr. Chinasa Nwaneri leading other known thugs like Tapey and Madoka descended on the President of the
Congress after overpowering the few workers who were left after the initial
battering. Inflicted heavy injuries and big blows to his head and body and eventually bundled him into their waiting van and whisked him
away to unknown destination where he is still being held incommunicado.
The unions said that this latest action of the State Government and the Police further demonstrates their earlier cries to Nigerians on the level of violence and impunity going on in the state ; saying that if the President of the Congress can be abducted in broad day light and taken to unknown destination by the Police and the State Governor, one would imagine what they have been doing to workers and trade union leaders in the state.
The unions reiterated that all they’ve
been asking the Governor is to honour agreements signed between the government and the unions as well as respect the rights of workers in the state as they deserve their wages and better living condition.
The unions called on Nigerian workers, wherever they may be; in their respective industrial unions; the state councils and the branches to be on alert for an immediate nationwide action if by the end of today, the President of the Congress is not
“We cannot be at work while our President is in the gulag and we cannot be at peace when the Government of Imo state continues to disrespect workers and treat them with utter disdain.
“With this statement, we want to put the Nigerian Government on notice that we want the President of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) immediately released. The
injuries meted to him must be treated forthwith and his freedom to lead Nigerian workers in a peaceful protest guaranteed.
“This is what we demand as we proceed to the meetings of the various organs to take decisions on further steps that will be taken if this is not heeded now, anything that happens in the country, the Governor of Imo State and the Police Commissioner must be held responsible.
“Nigeria is a country of Laws and we especially the leaders must learn to work within its ambits. The IGP who is in the state must call his operatives to order to avoid loss of lives, properties and further injuries on innocent workers in Imo State.
The unions appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call Governor Hope Uzodinma to order to avert his plans of turning the state into a den of thugs and blood suckers noting that they’ll continue to press on with their engagement as trade unions untill the government listens to the demands of workers.

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