The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero has narrated his ordeal in Imo State, saying he was dragged on the floor and beaten like a thief.
Ajaero was assaulted recently in the South-East state as the NLC enforced an industrial action in the state. While the labour chief accused police authorities and the state government of masterminding the incident, the duo have denied any involvement.
Days after the incident, Ajaero recounted how he was almost beaten to a pulp.
“I was in the secretariat of the NLC and called some journalists to join and then some of the officials of the NLC so that we can address the press on the situation in Imo.
“It was then that the police led other people – in mufti uniform – and they came and withdrew about 20 security personnel that were there. And then the policeman arrested me and handed me over to thugs. One of his men, I don’t know whether that one is a sergeant or inspector said: ‘Oga, why don’t you take him instead of handing him over to these people?’
“He shouted at the sergeant and said, ‘Come on, shut up!’ And that was how they dragged me on the floor and took me to this bus with about seven people.
“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.”
Court Bars Strike, Police Launch Probe
Following the assault on the NLC president, organised labour picketed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. They barricaded the airport, leaving travellers stranded on Thursday, a move the Federal Government frowned on.
Although the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the NLC threatened a nationwide strike unless police authorities fish out the officers involved in the impasse, the National Industrial Court (NIC) has barred them from downing tools.
Already, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun has ordered “investigations into the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault” and promised that “appropriate actions will be taken based on the findings of the investigation”.