* Calls On President Tinubu, IG To Intervene
* Peter Obi Says Development Shows Level Of Lawlessness In Nigeria
As Nigerians continue to condemn the brutalization of some Labour leaders, allegedly masterminded by the state government and some seurity agencies, the Labour Party in the state has, while condemning, what it regards as state of anarchy, called for urgent intervention of President Bola Tinubu and Inspector General of Police to arrest the ugly situation.
At a press conference addressed by Calistus Ihejiagwa
Imo State Chairman of the party, he condemned the assault on comrade Joe Ajaero, President of NLC and other officials who were trying to embark on peaceful demonstration against what he regards as the anti Labour policies of the state government.
Also, the presidential candidate of the party in the February 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, has expressed shock over reports of NLC President, Joe Ajaero’s assault, saying it showed the level of lawlessness in Nigeria
The Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma, in his reaction has accused the president of NLC, Ajaero, of interfering in the state’s politics
Uzodimma made the accusation on Thursday after receiving the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag from President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja.
“The National President of the NLC is from Imo State and has not been able to demarcate the difference between being a national leader of an organisation and then an interested party in local politics,” Uzodimma said.
But addressing Journalists at the party’s secretariat, Ihejiagwa said,
“You are not strangers to the atrocious, obnoxious, suppressive and tyrannical occurrences in this Imo State under the current administration of the outgoing Governor Hope Uzodimma.
“You are all also aware of what happened in Owerri yesterday.
“We wish to unequivocally condemn the gestapo-like arrest and brutalization of Comrade Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, by thugs allegedly led by State government agents and operatives of the Imo State Police Command
Presently Imo State under hope Uzodinma, we are witnessing gross violations of the Constitution with regards to those inalienable fundamental human rights.
Imo people are also not known for this low level of intolerance, recklessness and brigandage, hence every true citizen of the State especially workers, must condemn this despicable act of desperation of the governor.”
According to him, comrade Ajaero was addressing workers at the NLC Secretaraite when the government thugs swooped on them. beating him up alongside the General Secretary and the Deputy President of the Dock workers, who reportedly suffered broken arms, while their phones and other valuables were collected from them.
The state party chairman further said that Nigeria is a democracy and every citizen is guaranteed his fundamental human rights of movement, association and expression as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The Constitution, according to him, is the Supreme Law of the country and supercedes every other law and pronouncement, adding that it is unfortunate that some people have decided to take the laws into their hands to oppress, intimate and kill political opponents.
He noted that comrade Ajaero’s offence was leading the protest against the “wicked anti-labour policies of the state government under the highly intolerant governor Hope Uzodinma.
“Rather than focus on developing sustainable policies, programmes and opportunities that elevate as well as provide meaningful living to workers and the people, the governor continues to champion discriminatory, divisive, dictatorial and violent policies that depress and dehumanize workers and citizens.
For 3 years and 7 months, the workers and pensioners have been denied their salaries and pensions
Sadly, instead of attending to the Imo workers’ plights and genuine grievances, Uzodinma let loose his thugs on the helpless workers and brutalised many of them, including the President of the NLC and many national, zonal and States officials of both NLC and TUC, as well as destroying their vehicles.”
Speaking further, he said, “We believe that President Bola Tinubu and the Inspector General of Police can see the depravity going on in Imo State and dissociate their good offices from the evil being perpetrated by hope uzodinma and the pliant security operatives who are willing to join his army of brigandage and suppression of the people.
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Once again, we cry out and call on President Bola Tinubu to look into the state of affairs in Imo. He should urgently pay attention to what is happening in the state and cause a quick change of guards in the security architecture to ensure that the will of the people is not subverted by one emperor.
While we congratulate IGP Kayode Egbetokun for his confirmation as the substantive Inspector General of Police, we implore him to exhibit the same sterling qualities that catapulted him to the peak of his career by reining in the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, who has not made any pretensions of doing the bidding of Governor Hope Uzodinma.”
Ajaero was allegedly arrested by the Imo State Police Command on Wednesday while leading a protest in the state capital, Owerri.
However, the police said he was only “rescued from a mob and put in protective custody.”