National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu conveyed regret to organized labour for November 1 attack on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Joe Ajaero in Owerri, Imo State. Ajaero suffered hours of harsh beatings while in custody.
In response, the labour union threatened a statewide strike unless certain demands, including the apprehension of those accountable for the attack on Ajaero, were met. Despite the Federal Government’s attempt to impose labor restrictions through legal means, the strike commenced on Monday, causing nationwide disruptions.
In a statement issued by Zakari U Mijinyawa, Head of Strategic Communications in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Ribadu urged the labour movement to reconsider the ongoing strike. He assured that the assailants responsible for the attack on Ajaero had been arrested, and investigations were underway.
Ribadu expressed the Federal Government’s regret over the incident in Imo State, condemning it as a violation of the rule of law and the fundamental principles of freedom of association and expression endorsed by President Tinubu and his administration.
The statement emphasized the concern of the Office of the National Security Adviser regarding the nationwide strike’s potential impact on the livelihoods of Nigerians and the country’s economic security and strategic national interests.
Acknowledging his immediate intervention upon learning about Ajaero’s ordeal, Ribadu affirmed that relevant authorities had been directed to conduct a thorough investigation and apprehend the perpetrators. Some arrests had already been made, and the results of the investigation would be made public once concluded.
The statement appealed to labour leaders to halt the ongoing strike and allow the ongoing dialogue process to reach a resolution. The Federal Government, through the Office of the NSA, emphasized its commitment to resolving the matter through dialogue and urged for the cessation of the strike action.