National Security Adviser Pleads With NLC To Call Off Strike,
…Regrets assault on Labour President
By Ebenezer William
The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, on Wednesday appeal to the organised labour to call off their nationwide strike which commenced on Tuesday.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) embarked on the strike on Tuesday to protest against the attack on the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State on 1 November.
Mr Ribadu, in a statement by the Head of Strategic Communications in the NSA office, Zakari Mijinyawa, expressed concerns over the implications of the ongoing strike, but assured the striking workers that some of the attackers of the NLC president had been arrested.
He also said the matter was being investigated and that the outcome of the prove would be made public.public
“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 thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the assault and bring to book the culprits,” the statement read, in part.
Assuring the NLC justice in the case, Mr Ribadu, on behalf of the federal government, on Wednesday, “appeals to the labour leadership to call off the current strike action and allow the dialogue process underway to be exhausted”.
Some thugs and police officers had reportedly on 1 November attacked Mr Ajaero and other members of the NLC who had assembled at the union secretariat in Owerri, the Imo State capital, ahead of a planned protest against the state government.
The workers said the protest was imperative because the Imo State Government reneged on its agreements with them.
They said their protest was againstnonen-payment of workers’ salaries for months and arbitrary sacking of workers in the state, an allegation Governor Hope Uzodinma has denied.
The national leadership of the NLC later alleged that Mr Ajaero was arrested by police operatives in the state.
The union also accused the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, of mobilising the thugs and the officers to attack the NLC president to frustrate the planned protest in the state.
But the police later denied arresting Mr Ajaero, saying they only placed him in protective custody to shield him from attack by the thugs.
On his part, Governor Uzodinma blamed Mr Ajaero for his alleged partisanship in the state.
The Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, had assured of an investigation into the case ahead of the 11 November governorship election which held in the state.
Mr Egbetokun also redeployed the commissioner of police, Mohammed Barde, on whose watch the attack took place.
Not satisfied with the action so far taken on the attack on the NLC president, the organised labour, on Tuesday, embarked on a nationwide strike to further press for justice for him.
The federal government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, on Friday obtained a court order to stop the strike but the workers defied the court order to begin the strike on Tuesday.