• News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: November 15, 2023

Ajaero: NSA probes assault on NLC president, confirms arrest of suspects

Ajaero: NSA probes assault on NLC president, confirms arrest

Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser (NSA), has said that a probe into the attack on Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Owerri, the capital of Imo State on November 1, 2023, has begun.

Speaking in a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Ribadu said that several individuals (suspects) had been taken into custody amid the ongoing probe. 

The statement reads, “The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) is concerned by the declaration of a nationwide strike by the leadership of the Organised Labour led by the NLC and TUC.

“The NSA is particularly worried about the implications of the strike action on the livelihood of ordinary Nigerians and its potential impact on economic security and other strategic national interests.

“As attested by the NLC leadership, the NSA immediately intervened on learning about the travails of the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joseph Ajero who was assaulted in Owerri, Imo State.

“The NSA regrets the incident and condemns it in its entirety as it was against the rule of law and the principles of freedom of association and expression subscribed to by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his administration.

“The Federal Government will never condone such an act.

“As a fallout of the incident relevant authorities were directed to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assault and bring to book the culprits. An available update indicates that some arrests have already been made in this regard. The outcome of the investigation will be made public as soon as it is concluded.

“The Federal Government, through the Office of the NSA, therefore, appeals to the labour leadership to call off the current strike action and allow the dialogue process underway to be exhausted.”

Recently, Ajaero was attacked in the Southeast state while the NLC was enforcing an industrial strike there. The state administration and police force have denied any participation in the affair, despite the labour chief's accusations that they planned it.

Ajaero described how he was nearly beaten to death in the days following the incident.

“I don’t know but I can’t explain the beating. You know, but they tied my nose, tied my eyes and tied everywhere and were hitting me with all manner of things. They were asking me why I was challenging Hope and that I should say my last prayer and that they were taking me to Njoba River", Ajaero narrated his ordeal. 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) embarked on an indefinite nationwide industrial strike on Tuesday, November 14, in response to the deadline that expired for the Federal government to address the alleged attack on NLC president Joe Ajaero.

Festus Osifo, the president of the TUC, told reporters at a press conference held on Monday at Labour House in Abuja that the strike was brought on by organised labour's demands that the Federal Government prosecute everyone responsible for the molestation and attack on the NLC president and workers during the Imo state protest.    

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