The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has voiced concerns about an alleged attempt to blackmail his government.
The governor’s comments came in response to recent labour protests and a distressing incident involving the brutalization and arrest of NLC President Joe Ajaero in the state capital on Wednesday.
Governor Uzodinma insisted that the state workers are not owed any outstanding salaries.
Furthermore, addressing the situation surrounding Joe Ajaero, the NLC president, Governor Uzodinma expressed that Ajaero has faced challenges in separating his roles as the national president of the Labor Union from his engagement as an interested party in the local politics of Imo State.
He, however, did not condemn the incident.
The governor made these remarks at the presidential Villa after President Bola Tinubu presented flags to the APC governorship candidates for Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi ahead of the November 11 elections.
On Wednesday, Ajaero was arrested by security operatives during a protest that took place in Owerri, Imo State, and was taken away and allegedly brutalized.
This incident came after a press briefing on Sunday where Ajaero lamented the fact that many workers have died as a result of what he claimed was the state governor Hope Uzodimma’s indifference to their wellbeing.
He enumerated several of the alleged wrongdoings by Uzodimma against its workers, including the alleged incapacity to implement previous agreements, especially the one reached on January 9, 2021; nearly two years’ worth of unpaid salary arrears; the unjustified designation of workers as “ghost workers”; and unpaid gratuity arrears, among other things.
He continued by saying that the Imo State Government had mistakenly labelled over 11,000 workers as ghost workers and approximately 10,000 pensioners as ghost pensioners, resulting in roughly 22 months of unpaid payments.