Assault On Ajaero… Despite Court Order, Labour Begins Indefinite Strike

Despite a court order restraining the organised labour from embarking on any form of strike, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have resolved to proceed with their planned nationwide strike today.

The decision came at the end of the joint National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NLC and TUC in Abuja yesterday.

Last week, both labour centres issued a final notice to all affiliates and state councils to prepare for a total nationwide shutdown following unmet demands in the aftermath of the assault on the NLC national president, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in Imo State.

Labour has specifically issued a six-point core demands to include: the immediate removal of the commissioner of police, Ahmed Barde, from Imo State; removal of the area commander, arrest and prosecution of the adviser to state governor on special duties, Nwaneri Chinasa, and other state government officials fingered in the alleged brutalisation of Ajaero and other workers who were humiliated in the assault.

The labour leaders also demanded an immediate, independent and thorough professional medical examination of Ajaero in the light of the physical and psychological injuries inflicted on him.

They also resolved that other workers and journalists subjected to the alleged inhuman treatment by the police and the Hope Uzodimma’s goons be treated by the state and that all the properties lost be restored immediately.

LEADERSHIP reports that although Justice Benedict Bakwaph Kanyip of the National Industrial Court (NIC) had invoked sections 17 and 19 of the NIC Act to issue the restraining order against labour following an ex-parte application brought by the federal government, the attorney general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, the labour leaders have insisted that they would not back down until their demands are met.

TUC national president, Comrade Festus Osifo, who addressed journalists after yesterday’s NEC meeting in Abuja, said the demands remain unmet and maintained that those who brutalised Ajaero in Imo State must be arrested and prosecuted.

He said, “We want the government to meet all demands regarding the brutalisation of the president of the Nigerian Labour Congress. So we set some conditions and those conditions were very clear without ambiguity whatsoever. We said those people that brutalised our president must be arrested, and they must be prosecuted.

“We also stated that the area commander that led the police to carry out the brutalisation should be relieved of his duty and he should be prosecuted. Then, Chinasa, who everybody knew, that led the thugs should also be arrested and prosecuted.

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