MSA condemns the ATTACK on the Joe Ajaero, the NLC and other Union Officers
Calls on All Labour Centres to Mobilise Its’ Workers Against the callous Hope Uzodinma Regime and Other Anti-Workers’ government for a 24-hour SOLIDARITY STRIKE ACTION nationwide
The Movement for a Socialist Alternative (MSA) condemns the Abduction and brutal attack on Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and other workers. Painfully supervised and ordered by the state Governor, Hope Uzodinma and executed by a combined force of hired thugs and officers of the Imo State Police Command.
At a peaceful gathering of workers at the state NLC secretariat in Imo state on November 1, thugs stationed by the state government close to the union secretariat attacked workers with Matchets and other dangerous weapons, leaving many injured and properties taken away.
While workers in the state have scheduled an industrial action starting from November 1, 2023, to protest against a series of anti-worker policies dished out to them by Hope Uzodinma’s regime, such as nonpayment of months of workers’ salaries, among others.
This government’s method of mobilising thugs to disrupt and cause havoc on a peaceful gathering of workers is unbecoming and unacceptable and itself a threat to civil rule; if anything, it provides an arsenal for undermining democracy.
The NLC President, who later arrived at the scene, was also attacked and taken away by the men of the Nigeria Police. After his release, Comrade Ajaero had been physically battered and brutalised with visible injuries all over him, meaning that the police originally supervised this attack. How is it that the Nigerian police can visible double as the personal apparatus of one citizen and allow itself to be illegally used to inflict mayhem on citizens?
The attack on workers’ fundamental rights in the country by politicians and officeholders is becoming unprecedented. The use of thugs by state governors to attack peaceful protesters must immediately be challenged by the trade unions and Nigerians generally. In the same Imo State in May 2023, there were state-sponsored thugs who attacked workers during May Day, disrupting the Workers’ Day celebration in the state. Also, in 2021, the former governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufia, also used armed thugs to disrupt NLC’s peaceful protest.
We also urge the TUC to add their voice in condemning this callous attack to the NLC leadership and mobilise its rank and file in solidarity with the NLC. We call on the NLC and the TUC to take action rather than mere threats by declaring mass actions nationwide against this barbaric method of disrupting peaceful workers’ protests.
A national solidarity action with workers of Imo state is imperative. The MSA calls on the unions to urgently commence mobilisation of all workers against cruel and undemocratic governors, inclusive of a 24-hour general strike, nationwide to demonstrate its anger against the Imo state governor-led attack on the union and to also insist on the reversal of all the attacks on workers, alongside the immediate payment of the withheld wages of workers in Imo state.
Aj. Dagga Tolar
General Secretary MSA. 08034513073.