Barely 24 hours since the start of the nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the early hours of today, staff and other visitors to the National Assembly have begun to feel the brunt of the exercise.
On Tuesday the four gates leading into and out of the complex were locked by agents of the Sergeant-At-Arms leaving visitors to the complex stranded.
Investigations by Daily Independent showed that the closure of the gates were in compliance with the total strike directives by the NLC.
Recall that the Labour Congress had Monday night called for an industrial action in protest to the manhandling of the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, who was beaten in Owerri, Imo State.
Ajaero in a press conference in Abuja lamented that security agents handed him over to the thugs to be beaten in unimaginable ways.
The NLC President’s ordeal came barely 24 hours before the just concluded governorship election in the.
This was even as he claimed the NLC wrote to all the security agencies about the protest before the fateful day.
He explained that “I can’t explain the beating I received. They tied my hands and dragged me on the floor like a common criminal. I am not even a card-carrying member of any political party as alleged.”
His account contradicted an earlier statement by the Imo State Police Command which said the NLC President was taken into protective custody to save him from a mob attack.
The statement was issued on the official X handle of the Nigerian Police by Imo Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Okoye Henry.
It read, “The Imo State Police Command wishes to clarify some sketchy reports alleging the arrest of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in Owerri.
“It is pertinent to state that the NLC President was in Owerri as part of arrangements of the Congress to mobilise workers for a mega protest rally in the state. In the course of their planning, it was reported that suggestions arose for the lockdown of some essential facilities particularly the airport which led to some workers and other individuals resisting the picketing process leading to scuffles, heated arguments, and an eventual attack on the person of the president by a mob.
“Upon receiving this report, the Imo Police Command swiftly deployed police operatives to the scene where the Officer in Charge exercised his operational discretion by taking the NLC President into protective custody at the State Command Headquarters to ensure the protection of his life and that he was not lynched in the scuffle that followed.
“The Commissioner of Police thereafter directed that he should be taken to the Police Medical Services, Owerri, where he would be accorded medical attention as a result of the attack. He has therefore been accorded adequate security cover to proceed on his other legitimate engagements for the day.”