Members of the organised labour, on Friday declared a nationwide strike for Wednesday, November 8, to protest the recent attack on the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero in Imo State.
Recall that Ajaero was arrested, brutalised and hospitalised by Policemen allegedly attached to the governor of the State, Hope Uzodimma, during a protest to press home the demands of Imo workers bordering on alleged violation of their rights.

Addressing journalists at Labour House, Abuja on Friday, the General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nuhu Toro, who was accompanied by other officials of NLC, said they are demanding immediate redeployment of the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Barde from the State.

He said, “Comrade Joe Ajaero was blind folded, beaten to a pulp, brutalised, humiliated, and violated by the police personnel and taken to an unknown destination where he was subjected to more battering and torture as well as threatened with death before help came his way via the National Security Adviser; Mr Nuhu Ribadu who ordered for his immediate release.

“However, due to the severity of his injuries, the police had to take him to the Police Hospital where we made contact with him at 3:30 pm. At the time of our first contact with Comrade Joe Ajaero, his right eye was puffed, black and shut, one of his ears has tiny trace of dried blood, his speech was slurred and incoherent.

“He had welts all over him. He did not recognise the people around him and could not walk without being aided or supported. Inevitably, he had to be taken to Federal Medical Centre, Owerri for more investigation.”

Other demands by both NLC and TUC members include immediate implementation of different industrial relations agreements reached, thorough and unbiased medical examination for Ajaero among others.

The TUC scribe said, “We further resolved that in the event the Government fails to comply with any or all of the conditions above-stated, NLC, TUC and their affiliates will no longer guarantee industrial peace in Nigeria beginning Wednesday the 8th of November, 2023 while a joint National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the two Labour Centres will meet to decide on the next course of action.

“We find it appropriate to let Nigerians know the sequence of events that led to our going to Owerri for a peaceful protest but which was aborted by the police and hoodlums recruited by the State Governor. This has become necessary so they do not fall victim to government’s propaganda or Police’s disinformation and misinformation.”

Toro added, “The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria resolved as follows: The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command; CP Ahmed Barde should not only be investigated and deployed out of Imo State for his serial complicitous and unprofessional behaviour and conduct immediately;

“The Area Commander of the Nigeria Police Force and all other Officers and Men in Owerri through whom the Police Commissioner supervised the brutalisation and humiliation of Comrade Ajaero and other workers be relieved of his office and stripped of his commission;

“Mr Nwaneri Chinasa, Adviser on Special Duties who supervised the terror on workers and bestial 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 immediate, independent and unbiased thorough professional medical examination of Comrade Ajaero in light of the physical and psychological injuries inflicted on him.

“Other workers and journalists subjected to this inhuman treatment by the Police and the Hope Uzodimma’s goons be treated by the State and all the properties lost be restored immediately.

“All the outstanding Industrial Relations issues as previously agreed with the Imo state Government be implemented immediately.”



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