The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, has revealed why the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, was in Imo State on November 1, 2023.
Osifo, on Tuesday, said Ajaero was not Imo State for politics but to fight for the rights of aggrieved workers in the state.
The TUC President while speaking on Channels TV said the labour issues in Imo predated the Ajaero-led NLC as alleged by the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.
Osifo said, “The problem in Imo State actually started in 2020 immediately Hope Uzodimma came to the saddle. In 2021, Joe Ajaero was not the President of NLC.”
Vox9ja recalls that Ajaero was attacked in Owerri, the Imo State capital, last Wednesday just before a planned protest in the state.
The protest was fixed to press the state government to heed the demands of the workers in the state.
The NLC and the TUC have since ordered the shutdown of essential services in Imo as a protest of the attack on Ajaero and declared a nationwide strike effective November 14, 2023.
Osifo, on Tuesday, accused the Uzodimma-led administration of supervising the attack on Ajaero and giving the incident a political colouration.
He said the NLC and TUC National Executive Council (NEC) headed by the current Governor of Kebbi State, Nasir Idris, who was then President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (TUC) went to Imo in 2021 in an attempt to resolve the labour issues with the state government.
He said, “So, this issue predated the administration of Joe Ajaero; Joe Ajaero became the President of NLC in February 2023 but this particular issue has been on the ground since 2021.”
The TUC President noted that Uzodinma signed an agreement with labour in May 2023 and is yet to implement any of the details of the agreement.
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He added, “Joe Ajaero was not in Imo for politics because there was no need for it; there were issues – there are people that were sacked, that were not being paid, that are being owed several months’ salaries.”
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