ATTACK ON NLC PRESIDENT: Labour declares nationwide strike from Tuesday

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  • Varsity students boo Uzodimma over assault on NLC President
  • SERAP threatens to sue Tinubu, Uzodimma over attack on Ajaero

The organised labour, including the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, has announced a complete and nationwide strike from Tuesday, November 14, 2023.

The leadership of the two unions came to the resolution after a National Executive Council meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

The meeting’s objectives were to discuss the terms of the strike that was scheduled in response to the brutalisation of NLC National President Joe Ajaero and to review the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed on October 2, 2023, between the Federal Government and organised labour.

The meeting also covered the removal of the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) subsidy, which the labour centres claimed had caused “untold hardship” on Nigerians.

In response to the police’s earlier Wednesday arrest of the National President of the NLC in Owerri, Imo State, the labour unions issued a five-day ultimatum on Friday.

The labour centres demanded the arrest and prosecution of the government assistant who was suspected of carrying out the attack, as well as the redeployment of the state’s commissioner of police.

In addition, the unions threatened to launch a nationwide strike if their demands were not fulfilled by Friday.

Varsity students boo Uzodimma over assault on NLC President, Ajaero

Meanwhile, students of the Imo State University booed Governor Hope Uzodimma when he visited the institution for his campaign, as they continued chanting “no light, no light” as the governor mounted the rostrum.

According to trending videos on Tuesday, the students refused to grant audience to the governor after the electricity workers cut off the power supply to the institution for four days.

Uzodimma went to the Imo State University to speak to the students and campaign.

“After mounting the rostrum, we started shouting ‘no light”, because we have not had light for the past 4 to 5 days,” a student narrated.

“This is because electricity workers went on strike over the assault on NLC president, Joe Ajaero,” another student said.

The state will be electing its next governor on Saturday in a contest which is already generating controversies due to the activities of the police, other security operatives and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Last Wednesday, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force arrested Ajaero while organising a rally to protest against stalled wage payments for workers in the state.

It was also reported that the NLC confirmed its President, Joe Ajaero was thoroughly brutalised and rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri with his right eye completely shut.

The NLC’s Head of Information and Publicity, Comrade Benson Upah, had described the arrest and assault suffered by Ajaero as “attempted murder”.

But reacting to the incident, Governor Uzodimma, who is facing a reelection on November 11, had claimed that the NLC President was attacked because he was meddling in the state’s politics.

Uzodimma who spoke to journalists after receiving the All Progressives Congress’ flag from President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, said he stopped the NLC’s national leadership from dissolving the Imo State chapter of the Congress.

“What has happened in this ugly coincidence is that the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress 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,” he said.

He had said, “I understand the sensitivity of this event (protest). But I want you people to be careful because there is an attempt to mix up partisan politics or an attempt to blackmail my government.

“I can tell you that my people are already aware; that was why the NLC Imo State chapter addressed a world press conference that what their national leadership is doing is not correct and that they are not going to embark on any strike or protest.

“In the process, they decided to dissolve them to put in a caretaker. Of course, I’m the Chief Security Officer and I have a responsibility to intervene. I encourage the national leadership not to dissolve a management team that their tenure has not expired, and that was what they did.”

SERAP threatens to sue Tinubu, Uzodimma over attack on Ajaero

The Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project has threatened to sue President Bola Tinubu and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, over an attack on the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero.

“We’re suing the Tinubu administration and Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, over the brutal attack on NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, last week in Imo State, and the failure of the authorities to bring suspected perpetrators to justice,” SERAP announced on its X handle on Tuesday.