Civil Rights Groups Flay Ajaero For Attempt To Cause Chaos In Imo


A coalition of civil rights groups has accused Comrade Joe Ajaero, the leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), of conspiring with the opposition to cause anarchy in Imo State through a botched statewide protest. 

Ajaero had announced at a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday that the movement would shut down the state capital, Owerri, due to an alleged violation of workers’ rights by the state government.

Although there was a valid court order restraining the union from carrying out the protest, Ajaero led a section of the workers in the industrial action on Wednesday, which consequently led to his apprehension by the Nigerian Police Force.

In a statement signed by the coordinator, Ephraim Okunbor, the coalition under the aegis of the Peoples Project condemned the action of the labour leader. The coalition said Ajaero and his co-travellers were insensitive to the plight of the Imolites given the tense political atmosphere ahead of the November 11, 2023, election.

The coalition accused the NLC, under the leadership of Ajaero, of having a bias against the government of Governor Hope Uzodimma and hatching a well-orchestrated plan to cause chaos in Imo ahead of the election to the advantage of a particular political party.

While the group maintains that the labour protest is a legitimate expression of workers' rights and serves to address labour-related concerns, they are cautious about its potential impact on the impending election.

Peoples Project wondered why the national leadership of the NLC was hell-bent on continuing with the protest even when the organised labour in the state had publicly dissociated itself from the industrial action. The labour unions had said, contrary to the position of the national leadership of the NLC, "It is on record that the Governor is promptly paying Imo State's workers and pensioners when due and has provided buses that convey workers to and from work, and free health care for workers under the Imo State Health Insurance Scheme."

The coalition stated that Ajaero has taken his partisanship to a dangerous level with his unnecessary and wicked intervention in Imo State. 

"It is on record that the NLC, under his leadership, publicly endorsed a presidential candidate in the last election and is now conniving with the same political party to wreak havoc on the people of Imo with this protest. 

"Ajaero kept quiet about the deplorable state of Abia workers, where workers began an indefinite strike. He even honoured the Abia State Governor, who is a member of his political party but chose to lead a protest in Imo State on the eve of the election between Uzordimma (APC) and his political party (LP-NLC) despite an Industrial Court order against the protest and the fact that the NLC, Imo State chapter, has rejected the call to protest and is not in support of such a protest!"

"We condemn the action of the NLC in Imo; the NLC's penchant for disobedience against validly subsisting court orders is a dangerous trend that has to be curbed. Nobody should be allowed to trample on the judiciary in the name of unionism."


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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