The NLC alleged that barely after three days Uzodimma sent thugs and the police to brutalize the Congress President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the governor on Saturday, November 4, invaded and attacked his (Ajaero) hometown, Azalla Owalla in Emekuku in Owerri, the state capital, to continue his ‘mission”.
NLC in a statement issued by Comrade Benson Upah, Head of Media and Information, alleged that the mission was to assassinate Comrade Ajaero under the misguided belief that he was still present, recovering from injuries inflicted on him by the police and hired thugs in November I.
The statement was titled: “Hope Uzodimma continues on his murderous mission against Nigerian workers and trade union leaders: Invades and attacks NLC President’s community in Imo State.”
It read: “The brazen and violent assault on the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, and others on November 1st, 2023, inside the State Secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Imo State, by Governor Hope Uzodimma, his thugs, and the State Police Commissioner, stands as a stark reminder of the lengths to which they are willing to go in their pursuit of suppression and brutality.
“In a shocking turn of events, on the morning of November 4th, 2023, Governor Hope Uzodimma, once again demonstrated his utter disregard for human rights and democratic principles by invading and attacking the community of Azalla Owalla in Emekuku, Owerri, Imo State -the hometown of NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero.
“It is evident that the Governor’s sinister objective is the assassination of the President of the Congress, a motive laid bare by this latest act of aggression on the community.
“This invasion was carried out under the misguided belief that Comrade Ajaero was still present, recovering from injuries inflicted by the police and hired thugs.
“The use of excessive force against citizens who hold differing opinions or dare to question the Governor’s governance style, particularly about the inhumane treatment of workers in Imo State, is an affront to democracy.
“The current situation in Imo State is nothing short of a descent into fascism, where terror takes precedence over reason, and dialogue is pushed to the sidelines.”
The NLC fingered the Commissioner of Police in Imo State for being the willing tool to unleash terror in the state and called on the Inspector-General of Police to remove him without delay.
“We urgently call on the Inspector General of Police to rein in the Imo State Police Commissioner, preventing further abuse and desecration of the nation’s Police force. The Commissioner has become a tool of oppression in the hands of the fascist Governor, perpetrating intimidation and harassment on the people of Imo State. Immediate removal is essential to prevent an impending crisis.
“The President of the Federal Republic and all patriotic citizens of Nigeria must not remain silent in the face of this bloodshed. The Governor must be held accountable. We believe that the President holds the means to rein in the excesses of the Governor, and these measures must be swiftly employed to safeguard lives and properties in the state.
“The people of Azalla Owalla are entitled to their peace, and the continued occupation of their community by the Police and Uzodimma’s thugs, in the wake of the assault on their fellow citizen, constitutes an ongoing insult.
“The occupying forces must immediately vacate the territory, granting the people the freedom to engage in their socioeconomic activities without the looming spectre of terror.”
Labour vowed that it would never succumb to the blackmail and intimidation of the anti-democratic forces in Imo State.
According to the statement, “Governor Hope Uzodimma should be under no illusion -Nigerian workers remain steadfast in their commitment to protect the rights of Imo State workers, undeterred by the current wave of violence he has chosen to pursue.
“We draw strength from the events of November 1st, which will guide our future interactions with the Governor. The workers of Imo State will prevail, and Hope’s attempts to thwart our cause through intimidation and violence will be in vain.”
It would be recalled that the Imo State Government denied involvement in the arrest and brutalization of the President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba stated this in a statement.
He noted that those accusing the government were perennial mischief makers always crying wolf where there is none.