The Organised Labour has accused the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, of conspiring with the state’s Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Barde, to ‘abduct’ the Nigeria Labour Congress President, Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, on Wednesday.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress Emmanuel Ugboaja and the Trade Union Congress, Nuhu Toro, saying that the Imo State government has continued to use what it described as ‘the instrument of violence and intimidation’ against trade unions and their leadership in the state.
The statement partly read, “Just as Nigerian workers gathered earlier this morning led by the leadership of the two Labour centres to demonstrate our outrage over the serial and habitual abuse and violation of the rights of workers in the state, the government unleashed blood-curdling mayhem on the workers.
“Earlier in the morning, policemen 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 money were forcefully taken away by the hoodlums.
“As if that damage was not enough, the President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, arrived at the venue accompanied by a 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 Policemen of the Imo State Police Command who came in their numbers and in several trucks.”
The Organised Labour added that they had only asked the governor to pay the salaries owed to the state workers and frowned at the detention of Ajaero stressing the need for President Bola Tinubu’s intervention.
The unions also alleged that the police came with thugs led by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Chinasa Nwaneri, who descended on Ajaero after overpowering the few workers who were left after the initial battering and sustained injuries.
The Labour called on President Tinubu to ensure the release of the Ajaero with immediate effect while urging the workers across the country to be on alert for nationwide protest if he is not released before the end of Wednesday.
Joe Ajaero has, however, been released and rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, in Owerri with his right eye completely shut.