NLC President Beaten and Molested in Imo State

The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC ) Joe Ajaero was recently beaten and molested in Imo State.

Joe had arrived in Imo State to intervene on the sufferings of the members of NLC in Imo State, South East Nigeria but he was arrested, beaten and molested.

The Imo State Government and the Nigerian Police were accused of arresting the NLC President but Nigeria Police force (NPF) in a press statement debunked the news of directly involved in the arrest of Joe Ajaero.

According to the press release made public by ASP Okoye Henry for Commissioner of Police Imo State Command, he said:

“The Imo State Police Command wishes to clarify some sketchy reports alleging the arrest of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in Owerri. It is pertinent to state that the NLC President was in Owerri as part of arrangements of the Congress to mobilize workers for a mega protest rally in the state. In the course of their planning, it was reported that suggestions arose for the lockdown of some essential facilities particularly the airport which led to some workers and other individuals resisting the picketing process leading to scuffles and heated arguments and an eventual attack on the person of the president by a mob. Upon receiving this report, the Imo Police Command swiftly deployed police operatives to the scene where the Officer in Charge exercised his operational discretion by taking the NLC President into protective custody at the State Command Headquarters to ensure the protection of his life and that he was not lynched in the scuffle that followed. The Commissioner of Police thereafter directed that he should be taken to the Police Medical Services, Owerri, where he would be accorded medical attention as a result of the attack. He has therefore been accorded adequate security cover to proceed on his other legitimate engagements for the day. It is however necessary to emphasize the existence of a court injunction from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria holden in Owerri with Suit No. NICN/OW/41/2023 dated 27th October, 2023, barring the NLC from holding the intended protest rally in Owerri. The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Police Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc (+), therefore urges all concerned parties to ensure compliance with the Court directives so as to avoid jeopardizing the current security arrangements on Owerri and other parts of Imo State, even as the State gears up for the forthcoming electioneering process on 11th November 2023”.

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A human rights activist and lawyer Inibehe Effiong in reacting to the news said :

“The leader of the largest labour union in a country was subjected to this brutish and degrading treatment and we are not seeing the kind of reaction that should naturally follow. The issue is not about Joe Ajaero but the effect of this gruesome attack on the NLC as a union. Despite its weakness and compromising posture of the NLC in recent years, we should not allow this humiliation to go unchallenged. This will have a devastating consequence on the civic space in the country “.

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