The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has condemned in very strong terms the recent attack and arrest of its President, Comrade Joe Ajaero in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Tuesday.

The union, in a release dated November, 2, and signed by the National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman and made available to newsmen, reads, “We are appalled at the treatment meted out to the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress,  Comrade Joe Ajero  by sponsored thugs  and the Nigeria Police. We are equally full of consternation by the Gestapo manner in which Comrade Ajero was battered and subsequently whisked away. 

Obviously the Nigeria Police and other State actors have learned nothing out of our nascent democracy, which presupposes that conduct of such agents of State should be civil and that citizens have a right to peaceful assembly and protest. 

The Media have reported that as at the time Comrade Ajero was being brutalised on Wednesday, November 1,2023 , one  person was feared dead as miscreants descended on protesters, smashing vehicles, inflicting injuries and dispossessing handsets from labour members that had gathered at the NLC State secretariat. The NLC President alongside other members of the Central Working Committee, CWC, were at the State Secretariat in Owerri to begin the planned strike action against the State Government’s insensitivity to the plight of workers in the State.

Over the years, ordinary Nigerians have always found succour in the struggles of the NLC for a better stake for workers and other poor citizens in the Nigerian State which is skewered in favour of the elite. It is in appreciation of this perseverance, strength of  character and invaluable contributions to the development of the Nation and democracy in the country by Labour that we find the entire saga out of tune with reasonable conduct and in bad taste. 

The Imo State Government should be held responsible for any untoward thing that happens to Comrade Ajero or any official of the NLC as a result of this development. 

We condemn this dangerous development in its entirety and call for proper investigation and punishment for the perpetrators”.