• Wednesday, December 06, 2023
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Labour threatens strike over ill treatment of NLC president

NLC, TUC convene extraordinary meeting amid strike threats

Members of the organised labour, on Friday declared that they will embark on nationwide strike from Wednesday, November 18, 2023.

Adewale Adeyanju, the deputy national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said the strike follows last Monday’s manhandling of Joe Ajaero.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC), represented by the Deputy President, at a joint press briefing in Abuja raised a six-point demands to be implemented by the federal government to avert the looming strike.

Read also: NLC strike throws Imo into darkness – EEDC

The labour leaders said the Federal Government must immediately remove the Commissioner of Police, Imo State, and Area Commander, among other officials, for their alleged complicity in the brutalisation and humiliation of Ajaero and other workers.

Recall that a protest staged by the leadership of the NLC in Imo state over the week over salary arrears owed workers in the state turned messy, as the President of the NLC was brutalised and subjected to inhuman treatment.

Read also: NUPENG threaten nationwide strike after NLC Leaders brutalised

The development which did not go down well with Labour group, is already brewing crisis.

Adewale Adeyanju Deputy President (NLC) and Etim Oko, Deputy President (TUC) in a statement to outlined some conditions under which they might shelve the strike.

Lamenting the situation, NLC and TUC said on Wednesday, the 1 day of November, 2023, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress,

Joe Ajaero was abducted by officers and men of the Imo State Police Command (at the behest of the State Governor) from the NLC state council secretariat in Owerri while waiting for his colleagues to join him for a peaceful protest rally.

The unions alleged that the attackers came in a convoy of vehicles and gun trucks, hooded and armed to the teeth.

According to them, 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; Nuhu Ribadu who ordered for his immediate release.

Adeyanju noted that 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 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 said Ajaero 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

He also revealed that at, FMC, Ajaero after he was stabilized, was referred for ophthalmic investigation, a head and brain scan, a full body scan, Chest X-Ray, a full body scan and cervical spine therapy among other investigations and promptly fitted with a neck collar.

Read also: NLC sets Nov 1 for strike, protests in Imo State

The labour leaders said with the deteriorating health condition of Joe Ajaero and outraged by the bestial treatment meted out to workers (including Ajaero) and journalists by the police and Imo State Government; the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria resolved that “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.

” 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 psychological injuries inflicted on him.