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 organizing a rally to protest against stalled wage payments for workers in the state.
Ajaero’s arrest was effected as early as 8 am Wednesday, 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 to address the gathering, a team of armed Policemen came and took him away along with some of the officials of NLC.
There were several gunshots fired to disperse the workers.
NLC’s Head of Information and Publicity, Benson Upah confirmed the development, saying the Police have arrested Ajaero.
He said: “The NLC President was abducted by men suspected to be 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 an 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 to address 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.