Ajaero in critical condition, likely to be flown abroad – NLC

Ajaero in critical condition, likely to be flown abroad - NLC
Ajaero in critical condition, likely to be flown abroad - NLC (Photo: The Nation)

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday said the health condition of its President, Joe Ajaero is very critical and may be flown abroad for full medical examination after he was seriously beaten, brutalized and battered by alleged agents of the state including policemen on Wednesday in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

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The NLC President, other national leaders of NLC and their Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, counterpart, were at the state Secretariat in Owerri to protest among other grievances backlog of unpaid salaries and allowances, Pensions, gratuities and non-compliance with 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 Congress President is in a very critical condition. He is so weak and can hardly talk. He almost passed out last night. The Congress is considering flying him abroad for full medical examination. There is high apprehension and fear that he might have been injected with substance.

Like you may have seen, he was brutally beaten, brutalized and battered in addition to confiscating his phones, monies and others personal belongings. We have suspended the action in Imo State because besides the President, other Labour leaders suffered similar fate. They need to take care of themselves and recover from the injuries inflicted on them by agents of the state government including operatives of the Imo State Police Command.”

Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that the leaders (organs) of NLC and TUC will meet next week Tuesday, to decide on appropriate response to the attack and brutalisation of the NLC President and other Labour leaders in Owerri.
Meantime, more reactions have continued to trail the attack and brutalization of Ajaero and other labour leaders in Owerri

Reacting, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the February 2023 Presidential election, Mr Peter Obi, yesterday, condemned the attack on Joe Ajaero, describing it as lawlessness, impunity, criminality, and rascality.

Obi, who condemned the attack on Ajaerovia his X account (formerly Twitter), the incident “has come as a rude shock to most Nigerians. It says a lot about the state of affairs in our country today.”
The LP candidate, said: “It shows the level of lawlessness, impunity, criminality, and rascality that have engulfed our dear country. Things like this should worry any discerning mind because it runs counter to the type of country that we all desire and deserve.

“In the New Nigeria of our dreams, abuse of power and the reckless violation of citizens’ rights through acts of impunity will have no place.”

Similarly, Aviation unions while condemning the brutalisation and abduction of Ajaero, placed aviation workers on notice, for a possible showdown capable of creating flights disruption nationwide.“The unions which are 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, described the action as one of the darkest spots on Nigeria’s democratic credentials.

“In a joint statement, they said among others, ”We state unequivocally that we stand ready to act as may be directed by NLC to black out Imo State from the aviation map, and take further actions against the person of Hope Uzodimma as we deem fit, until the needful is done. “”By this release, all aviation workers are hereby placed on red alert to stand ready for action against Hope Uzodimma as will soon be directed. Injury to one is injury to all.”

Also, the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, said the unwarranted and unprovoked attack, brutalisation, abduction and near murder of Ajaero in Imo State, is condemnable in the strongest term.

The Union in a statement by its President and General Secretary, John Adaji and Ali Baba, respectively, read in parts : ” We are particularly disturbed that this uncivilised action by the Imo State Governor and the Nigeria Police Force is taking place in a democracy which the organised labour fought for, not military dictatorship.”

“We call on Nigerian workers and masses, lovers of democracy, civil society organisations, men and women of good will and the international labour movement to rise up to condemn this brutality carried out by the Nigeria police force and the Imo State Governor against peaceful assembly of workers and their leadership.

Similarly, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, has called on President Bola Tinubu to order the relevant agencies to fish out those behind the brutalisation of the President of the NLC and other Labour leaders for possible prosecution.

The union in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi Yalwa, yesterday among others, said “It is therefore shocking to read reports of attacks and brutalization of unarmed workers and the leadership of the NLC to the extent of causing bodily harm to our protesting comrades who were only expressing their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of association and expression.

“It is depressing to read reports of the active involvement of functionaries of the state government as well as reports of complicity of the Imo State command of the Nigeria Police in this show of shame.”

“On its part, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, condemned the attack and brutalisation of Ajaero by sponsored thugs and the Nigeria Police, saying “We condemn this dangerous development in its entirety and call for proper investigation and punishment for the perpetrators.”

NUJ National Secretary, Shu’aibu Leman, in a statement, yesterday, said: “We are appalled at the treatment meted out to the President of the NLC, Joe Ajero by sponsored thugs and the Nigeria Police.

“It is in appreciation of this perseverance, strength of character and invaluable contributions to the development of the Nation and democracy in the country by labour that we find the entire saga out of tune with reasonable conduct and in bad taste. The Imo State Government should be held responsible for any untoward thing that happened to Ajaero or any official of the NLC as a result of this development. “

Also, the Labour Writers Association of Nigeria, LAWAN, said the brutalisation and attempt by alleged sponsored agents to kill Ajaero in Imo State, is very shameful.

In a release by LAWAN through its Chairman and Secretary, Toba Agboola and Adenike Ajiboye respectively, LAWAN described it as a shameful act and barbarism that should not be accepted by the workers and Nigerians.

The statement read: “If such treatment can be meted to somebody like Comrade Joe Ajaero that has paid his dues and is on a legitimate NLC assignment, shows that an average Nigeria is not safe. It shows that there is no rule of law. It is a slap to Nigerian workers, a slap to our democracy and the citizen of Imo State. It is a big shame.”

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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