Ajaero is currently in a critical condition and there’s a possibility that he may be taken abroad for treatment, according to the NLC.

Busy Bee
Busy Bee November 3, 2023
Updated 2023/11/03 at 10:14 AM

Yesterday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) announced that its President, Joe Ajaero, is in critical condition and may need to be taken abroad for a full medical examination. This comes after he was severely beaten, brutalized, and battered by alleged state agents, including policemen, in Owerri, the capital of Imo State.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when Ajaero and other labor leaders were attacked, resulting in damage to their vehicles, injuries, and the theft of their belongings, such as phones, money, and ATM cards. The NLC President, along with other national leaders from the NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), had gathered at the state Secretariat in Owerri to protest various issues, including unpaid salaries and allowances, pensions and gratuities, and non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage Act.

After his release from Police abduction Wednesday night, Ajaero who looked very weak was wearing a neck collar with weal all over his skin and was “referred to ophthalmic investigation, a head/brain scan, a full body scan, and cervical spine therapy among other investigations.”

Speaking on the health condition of the NLC President, an Assistant General Secretary and chief of Staff to the NLC president, Chris Onyeka, lamented that his situation had worsened and could hardly talk saying he almost passed out last night.

According to him, the state of the Congress President’s health is critical. He is extremely weak and struggles to speak. He nearly fainted last night. The Congress is considering arranging for him to go abroad for a thorough medical examination. There is great concern and fear that he may have been injected with something. As you may have witnessed, he was subjected to brutal beatings, abuse, and theft of his personal belongings, including his phones and money. We have stopped our actions in Imo State because not only the President, but other Labour leaders have also suffered similar fates. They need time to recover from the injuries inflicted upon them by agents of the state government, including the Imo State Police Command.

In the meantime, Vanguard has learned that the leaders of NLC and TUC will meet next week Tuesday to discuss the appropriate response to the attack and brutalization of the NLC President and other Labor leaders in Owerri.

Furthermore, there have been more reactions to the attack on Ajaero and other labor leaders in Owerri. Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labor Party in the February 2023 Presidential election, has condemned the attack, stating that it is an act of lawlessness, impunity, criminality, and rascality.
Expressing his shock through his X account (formerly Twitter), Obi mentioned that the incident reflects the current state of affairs in Nigeria and highlights the rampant lawlessness, impunity, criminality, and rascality prevailing in the country.

These actions should concern anyone who values a just and fair society, as they go against the ideals we all hope for in our country.
“In the ideal Nigeria that we envision, there will be no tolerance for the abuse of power and the flagrant disregard for the rights of citizens.”

Similarly, the aviation unions strongly condemned the brutal treatment and kidnapping of Ajaero, and warned that they may take action that could disrupt flights nationwide. “The unions, which include the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, and the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, ANAP, see this incident as a grave stain on our country’s democratic standing.”

“In a joint statement, they declare without reservation that they are prepared to follow the directives of NLC to remove Imo State from the aviation map and take further measures against Hope Uzodimma as deemed appropriate until the necessary actions are taken.

This announcement serves as a warning to all aviation employees to be on high alert and ready to act against Hope Uzodimma as instructed. We firmly believe that an attack, abuse, abduction, and attempted murder of Ajaero in Imo State, without justification or provocation, is utterly condemnable,” stated the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in a statement from its President, John Adaji, and General Secretary, Ali Baba.

It is deeply concerning to us that the Governor of Imo State and the Nigeria Police Force are engaging in such uncivilized behavior within a democratic society that the labor movement fought hard for, in opposition to military rule.

We urgently appeal to Nigerian workers, the general public, democracy advocates, civil society organizations, and individuals who value justice to unite in condemning the violent actions perpetrated by the Nigeria Police Force and the Imo State Governor against peaceful gatherings of workers and their leaders.

Likewise, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has urged President Bola Tinubu to instruct relevant authorities to identify and apprehend the individuals responsible for the assault on the President of the NLC and other labor leaders, with the intention of initiating legal proceedings against them.

In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi Yalwa, the union expressed its shock at reports of attacks and violence against unarmed workers and NLC leaders. These individuals were simply exercising their constitutionally protected rights to freedom of association and expression. The union also expressed sadness at reports of state government officials’ involvement and the complicity of the Imo State police command in these disgraceful acts.

Recent News

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *