There are indications that the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress ((NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero has been arrested.
He is believed to have been arrested by the Nigerian Police in Owerri, the Imo state capital while organising a rally to protest against stalled wage payments for workers in the state.
Ajaero’s arrest was effected as early as 8 am Wednesday morning, as workers started gathering at the state Secretariat of the NLC for the protest when suddenly some men with harmful weapons stormed the Secretariat and attacked the workers and chased them away.
However, the workers re-assembled at the Secretariat again but this time led by the NLC President and General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja to commence the protest.
Just as Ajaero was about addressing the gathering, a team of armed Policemen came and took him away along with some the officials of NLC.
There were several gun shots apparently fired to disperse the workers.
NLC’s Head of Information and Publicity, Benson Upah confirmed the development, saying “Ajaero has been arrested by the Police. He and some other officials of NLC have been taken to an unknown destination including some reporters covering the planned rally”.
He said: “The NLC President was abducted by men suspected to Policemen armed to their teeth at the Imo state NLC secretariat on Wednesday as we were about to commence our lawful protest against the violation of trade Union rights of the workers”.
Also while giving account of the incident, NLC Deputy General Secretary and Chief of Staff to the NLC President, Chris Onyeka said that he was standing with Ajaero when he was brutalized and arrested.
“As workers were gathering to protest their maltreatment by the state government in Owerri, Imo state and the President of NLC was about addressing the workers, the Police came amidst attacks by thugs to arrest Ajaero.
“Thugs first attacked and dragged Ajaero from the platform before Police came to arrest him along with another senior official of the NLC,” he said.