IMO STATE GOVERNOR HOPE UZODINMA’S ASSAULT ON THE LABOUR MOVEMENT IS NOW A NATIONAL EMERGENCY
RELEASE NLC PRESIDENT COMRADE JOE AJAERO NOW!
DSM CONDEMNS BRUTAL REPRESSION OF IMO WORKERS PROTEST BY POLICE AND STATE SPONSORED THUGS
We have received news of the arrest of Comrade Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), by a combined team of policemen and armed thugs while he was executing a mandate of the NLC National Executive Council (NEC) to lead Imo State workers on a strike against the flagrant abuses of their rights and privileges by the State government. Comrade Ajaero was also reportedly severely assaulted and beaten by the police and thugs and dragged on the ground before he was taken into custody. A number of workers and journalists were also reportedly assaulted and macheted by the thugs.
The brutal attack which happened earlier today, Wednesday 1st November 2023, is not only shocking but an indication of the despotic degeneration of Nigeria’s capitalist state and an affront on the entirety of the labour movement in Nigeria.
To this extent, the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) hereby demands the immediate and unconditional release of comrade Ajaero and any other illegally detained workers activists. By arresting and physically assaulting the NLC President, the Imo State governor is sending a clear message on behalf of Nigeria’s decadent capitalist elite that no one is beyond repression, not even the leader of the largest trade union movement in West Africa.
We have it on good authority that the thugs who assaulted comrade Ajaero and other worker activists were led by Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Nze Chinasa Nwaneri. The best response to this kind of brazen and provocative assault on the labour movement is an all-out nationwide action involving strikes and mass protests to demonstrate the unity and resolve of the working class.
The strike by Imo state workers starting today was provoked by Governor Hope Uzodinma’s relentless implementation of a series of anti-worker policies one of which is the branding of over 11, 000 workers as ‘ghost workers’ while their salaries have been unpaid for over 20 months and counting despite diligently carrying out their duties.
We urge the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and all union affiliates as well as civil society organizations to immediately and swiftly condemn the arrest and demand the immediate release of Comrade Ajaero. Most importantly, we urge for an immediate meeting of the labour movement for a democratic discussion about how to respond to this brazen assault as well as build a national mass movement against all anti-worker and anti-poor policies.
For the DSM