On Wednesday, National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu apologized to organized labor for an attack on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Joe Ajaero on November 1 in Owerri, the capital of Imo State.
Ajaero was violently beaten and held for hours after storming Owerri to lead a demonstration.
The government was given an ultimatum by the labor unions, who threatened a statewide strike if certain demands were not met. These demands included the arrest of those responsible for the attack on Ajaero.
Despite the government’s efforts in court to halt the walkout, workers went on strike on Monday, effectively shutting down the country.
On Wednesday, Ribadu urged the movement to reverse its decisions on the ongoing strike in a statement signed by the Head of Strategic Communications in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Zakari U Mijinyawa. The statement also noted that the attackers of Ajaero had been arrested and that investigations had begun.
Ribadu stated that President Tinubu and his administration deeply regret and condemn the incident that occurred in Imo, calling it a violation of the rule of law and the principles of freedom of association and expression.
The announcement said,
The National Labor Council (NLC) and Trades Union Congress (TUC) have called for a statewide strike, and this has raised concerns at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The ramifications of the strike action on ordinary Nigerians’ livelihoods and their possible influence on economic security and other key national interests are of special concern to the NSA.
The NLC leadership saw how quickly the NSA responded after learning that Comrade Joseph Ajero, president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), had suffered an assault in Owerri, Imo State.
The National Security Agency expresses its deep sadness and strong condemnation of this occurrence, which runs counter to the administration’s commitment to the rule of law and the freedom of association and expression espoused by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The federal government would never tolerate such behavior.
“As a result of the occurrence, the appropriate authorities have been ordered to investigate the assault’s circumstances thoroughly and bring those responsible to justice. Recent information suggests that related arrests have already been made. As soon as the inquiry is complete, the results will be made public.
Therefore, “the Federal Government, through the Office of the NSA, appeals to the labour leadership to call off the current strike action and allow the dialogue process underway to be exhausted.”