The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajero, has been whisked away by security operatives at the ongoing protest in Owerri, the capital of Imo state.
At the same time, the demonstrators at the protests have been attacked, as there have been reports of the damaging of cars and wounding of labour members. Even Journalists who came to cover the event were not spared as they ran to the bush for their safety.
Police officers also took to their heels as the venue of the protest was hijacked by the alleged security operatives.
The Head of Information, NLC, Benson Upah, revealed that Ajaero was picked up at the state secretariat of the congress and taken to an unknown location.
It was reported that Upah said, “President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero was picked up a few minutes ago from NLC state council secretariat by heavily armed policemen in Owerri and taken to an unknown destination.”
The NLC had earlier vowed to mobilise its members for a total strike in Imo state starting Today, November 1, 2023, as Ajaero had, during a press briefing on Sunday, accused the Imo State government of violating the rights of Nigerian workers in the state.
In the press briefing, Ajaero bemoaned 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 listed some of the alleged transgressions committed by Uzodimma against its employees, such as the purported inability to carry out prior agreements, particularly the one struck on January 9, 2021; unpaid salary arrears of nearly two years; unfair labelling of employees as “ghost workers”; and unpaid gratuity arrears, among other things.
He went on to claim that over 11,000 employees have been classified as ghost workers by the Imo State Government, and nearly 10,000 pensioners have had their benefits incorrectly labelled as ghost pensioners, leading to almost 22 months of unpaid pensions.