The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, was allegedly arrested and beaten up by the police in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Wednesday.
A group, the United Action Front of Civil Society of Nigeria, has threatened to embark on extensive mass action if President Bola Tinubu refuses to apologise to workers and the brutalised Labour Congress National President, Joe Ajaero, within three days.
The group made this known in a statement issued by the Head of its National Coordinating Secretariat, Olawale Okunniyi, on Thursday.
According to the statement, the group also expressed displeasure over the brutalisation of the Labour Congress National President, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State.
“To this end, we demand that Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is presently at the head of the reckless Nigerian State, should tender an unreserved public apology to Nigerian workers and the President, Comrade Joe Ajaero within the next three days or risk unprecedented mass actions capable of shutting down state business indefinitely,” the statement said.
On Wednesday, some thugs and police officers reportedly attacked Mr Ajaero and other members of the NLC who had assembled at the union’s council secretariat ahead of their planned protest in the state.
The national leadership of the NLC later alleged that Mr Ajaero was arrested by police operatives in the state.
The NLC subsequently accused the police in Imo State of brutalising Mr Ajaero upon his arrest.
“Immediately after his arrest, he was beaten up and blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination where more brutalisation took place, sometimes with bottles,” Benson Upah, the NLC spokesperson, said in a statement Wednesday evening.
Thoroughly brutalised, his right eye at the time of the contact was completely shut. His phones, money and other personal effects were taken from him and have not been returned to him, he added while confirming the release of the NLC president.
Read the full statement from below:
Thursday, 2nd November, 2023
Brutalisation of NLC President is a Heist by APC Government against Nigerian Workers and Masses
……Supreme Court Governor, Uzodima Should Leave Nigeria Now Or Risks Public Embarrassments From Workers And Masses
…… Tinubu Should Tender Unreserved Apology To Nigerian Workers For Police Brutality Against NLC President Or Face Unprecedented Mass Actions
The United Action Front of Civil Society again wishes to express our sadness over the bestial brutalisation of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, which was orchestrated by Supreme Court Governor, Hope Uzodima of Imo State in a bid to thwart a popular mass protest of Labour in Imo State
Our group wishes to state that this sort of brutality and dehumanisation of the leader of the Nigerian workers has never happened to any leader of the Nigerian Labour movement in the annals of the Labour Movement in Nigeria, not even during the Abacha bestiality in the dark days of the military did this happen. The closest attempt in Kaduna during the last regime failed.
Hope Uzodima has definitely crossed the Rubicon for ordering his attack Police and Thugs to beat up and brutalise the Leader of all Nigerian workers. So, he is advised to resign immediately and leave Nigeria or risk public embarrassments from Nigerian Workers and Masses henceforth wherever he goes.
Similarly, we find the Bola Tinubu government liable of complicity in this episode of bestiality displayed by the heavily armed force of the Nigerian Police, who stormed the take off venue of the Workers’ Rally in Imo and abducted the NLC President to brutalise and murder him because they claimed the workers defie a Court injunction.
To this end, we demand that Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is presently at the head of the reckless Nigerian State should tender an unreserved public apology to Nigerian workers and the President, Comrade Joe Ajaero within the next three days or risk an unprecedented mass actions capable of shutting down State business indefinitely.
Enough is Enough! Nigeria belongs to the Nigerian people and workers. We can no longer tolerate this executive recklessness and impunity of the APC rule. It is time to decide who owns Nigeria. The APC government has committed a heist against the Nigerian people and workers and it must be atone for in a big way.
Head, National Coordinating Secretariat,
United Action Front of Civil Society of Nigeria