- RSM Calls For Continued Struggle Against Uzodinma’s Anti-worker Policies
SPOKESPERSON of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Benson Upah, has accused Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and the Imo State Commissioner of Police of attempted murder of Comrade Joe Ajaero, NLC President in Owerri on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 during workers peaceful protest against the government’s anti-worker policies.
Upah stressed that the duo orchestrated the arrest and brutalisation of Comrade Ajaero along with equally violent attack on workers who gathered at the state council secretariat of the NLC in Owerri, Imo State capital.
Describing the manhandling of Ajaero as an act of abduction that degenerated into attempted murder, Upah, said it was sad that the Imo police boss led the assault on workers.
He added that the trade union movement will not lay back and watch public servants who are paid with taxpayers’ money continue to abuse their offices for selfish reasons.
“The NLC President was abducted by policemen armed to the teeth at the Imo State NLC Secretariat on Wednesday as we were about to commence our lawful protest against the violation of trade union rights of the workers,” Upah said.
In his account of the incident, Chris Onyeka, an Assistant General Secretary of NLC, and Chief of Staff to Comrade Ajaero, Chris Onyeka, said he was with Ajaero when he was attacked, brutalised and arrested.
“As workers were gathering to protest their maltreatment by the state government in Owerri, Imo State, and the President of NLC was about to address the workers, the police came amidst attacks by thugs to arrest Ajaero. Thugs first attacked and dragged Ajaero from the platform before the police came to arrest him along with another senior official of the NLC.”
RSM Calls For Continued Struggle Against Uzodinma’s Anti-worker Policies
Meanwhile the Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM) has called on workers in Imo State to continue their struggle against Governor Uzodinma’s anti-workers policies.
In a statement on Wednesday, signed by Comrade Salako Kayode, RSM’s Publicity Secretary, the organisation said it believes that the “attack on Joe Ajaero is an attack on all Nigerian workers and should be resisted.”
According to RSM, the attack is an experiment by the ruling class to scare workers. Comrade Kayode said: “[T]he event is a test experiment on the workers by the state to spread panic. Similarly, the lies by the PPRO of Imo State Police Command, ASP Okoye Henry, that the National President of NLC “was taken to protective custody at state command headquarters to ensure the safety of his life” despite glaring evidence of the attack by the men of the Police is another evidence that the ruling elites cannot be trusted.
“Even, Ajaero reported that he was beaten up and blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination where more brutalisation took place, sometimes with bottles. Also, he said that his phones, money, and other personal effects were taken from him and have not been returned.
“Hence, we call on other sections of the Nigerian workers union to stand in solidarity with the Imo State workers and declare general strikes to demand the unconditional release of comrade Joe Ajaero and others who have been illegally arrested.
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“We call for unity of all trade union affiliates of NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) to condemn the arrest and stand in solidarity and struggle for the release of the arrested workers including comrade Joe Ajaero and also demand justice for those who are been injured by identifying the police officers and prosecuting them.