ASUP condemns attack on NLC president, others in Imo


The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Nigeria, ASUP has strongly condemned recent attacks on the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero and other workers in Imo State.

The union criticised the reported complicity of the Nigeria Police in failing to protect protesting workers and the organised labour’s property in the state.

Saga Gist recalls that the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, was allegedly attacked yesterday before being whisked away from Owerri, where he was supposed to lead workers in a protest against the state government.

Ajaero was said to be addressing Imo workers at the NLC secretariat, when heavily armed security operatives stormed the premises, picked the labour leader and took him to a yet-to-be-revealed destination.

According to ASUP’s National Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi Yalwa, in a statement issued in Bauchi, the union demands swift intervention from the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address the issue.

“Our Union is aware that the protest, which is a legitimate and globally recognized instrument of expression in civilized climes, had the endorsement of the appropriate organs of the NLC and took its roots in the serial violations of outcomes of a series of engagements between the Imo State Government and organized labour,)”

“These fundamental rights are the anchors of democracy globally, and Imo State and Nigeria cannot be exceptions. It is equally ironic that Imo State is one of the states involved in the off-cycle governorship elections in the country scheduled for November 11, 2023.”

Expressing its solidarity with Ajaero and other workers who were victims of the recent hooligan attacks on November 1, 2023, the Union indicated its readiness to follow directives from the NLC on the matter.

It stressed that peaceful protests are legitimate and a globally recognized form of expression and that such protests had the endorsement of the relevant NLC bodies.

ASUP said it was shocking to hear reports of attacks and brutalisation of unarmed workers and NLC leaders who were exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of association and expression.

The Union expressed disappointment in the involvement of state government officials and the complicity of the Imo State Police Command.

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