The Imo Elders Council says there should be consequences for the action of the Organised Labour in Imo State.
The group on Thursday described as “unprecedented in the history of the world”, the action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), banning flights in the state and shutting down electricity in protest against an assault on NLC President Joe Ajaero.
One of the elders, who addressed the press in Owerri, the state capital, Senator Chris Anyanwu said the wise thing for Ajaero and Labour to do is to go to the roundtable with the government and resolve all outstanding issues.
Ajaero was attacked in Owerri last Wednesday just before a planned protest in the state to press the state government to heed the demands of the workers in the state.
The NLC and the TUC had since ordered shutdown of essential services in Imo as protest for the attack on Ajaero and declared a nationwide strike effective November 14, 2023.
On Wednesday, aviation unions in Nigeria directed their workers to withdraw services to all public and private Owerri flights (both inwards and outwards) with effect from midnight.
The unions said the strike is indefinite until otherwise directed by the NLC and the TUC.
On Thursday, Labour picketed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and grounded air travel activities at the airport.
Addressing the media on the stance of the Imo Elders Council for the forthcoming November 11, 2023 governorship poll in the state, Anyanwu, an ex-Senator from Imo West Senatorial District, said, “There is no crisis in Imo State. Whatever is happening with the NLC is not going to affect the election because Imo people are ready.”
She berated Labour for denying the people and businesses electricity and air travel but noted that there are alternatives for voters to explore for Saturday’s poll.
“As for air travel, we have a number of alternatives. My cousin came from Port Harcourt yesterday (Wednesday), you can go through Akwa Ibom, you can go through Delta, you can go through Anambra. So, those who are determined to come and vote are coming back. So, it has little or no impact on the election.
“The kind of measures they have taken are unprecedented in the history of the world. I have never seen a time in this world where a human being has been barred from using an airport. The airport built on the sweat of Imo people and handed over to the Federal Government. You can’t do things like that. There have to be consequences for some of these extreme measures but I think the solution is in discussion.”
Others members of the Council who spoke during the briefing include the association’s Chairman, Cletus Iluomuanya; ex-Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro; former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Maurice Iwu; President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.