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Ajaero: NLC, TUC list conditions to avoid nationwide strike Nov 8


Ajaero: NLC, TUC list conditions to avoid nationwide strike Nov 8

The Nation Newspaper

The organised labour has listed some conditions that must be met to avoid a nationwide strike following the attack on the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, by suspected political thugs in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

Labour said it could not guarantee industrial harmony in the country from November 8, 2023.

Ajaero, who mobilised labour leaders to Owerri on Wednesday, November 1, was attacked and “severely injured,” by thugs allegedly sponsored by the state government, according to the NLC.

At a joint briefing in Abuja on Friday, November 3, by Deputy Presidents of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Adewale Adeyanju and Etim Oko, the labour unions expressed their disappointment on the “deafening silence of the federal government, and the extent to which men of the Nigeria Police in Owerri could go in meting out harm to peaceful protesters and newsmen in a bid to ensure evidence of their acts were confiscated.”

Labour noted it was “irritated” by the defence put forward by the Imo State Police Command that they had only taken Ajaero into protective custody from where he had emerged, “battered, concussed, puffed-eyed, debilitated and condemned” with threats of death before the timely intervention of the National Security Adviser; Nuhu Ribadu who ordered for his immediate release.

According to Labour, “Ajaero who was blindfolded, beaten to a pulp, brutalised, humiliated, and violated by police personnel before he was taken to an unknown destination where he was subjected to more battering and torture, could not recognise the people around him neither could he walk without being aided or supported when he was released.”

They said: “At first contact with him at the Police Hospital at 3:30 pm, Ajaero was described to have a puffed right eye that was black and shut, one of his ears had a tiny trace of dried blood, his speech was slurred and incoherent even as he had welts all over him before he was taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri where he 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.”

The labour’s demands read: “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.

“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.”

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