The National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, announced that an investigation has commenced into the assault on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Joe Ajaero. Ribadu confirmed that some suspects related to the incident in Owerri, the Imo State capital on November 1, 2023, have been arrested.
Amidst a nationwide strike seeking justice for Ajaero’s assault during a protest against alleged anti-labor practices by Governor Hope Uzodimma’s administration, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, redeployed Mohammed Barde, the then Commissioner of Police in Imo State, and ordered an inquiry into the assault.
However, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, expressed distrust in the IGP’s investigation and urged the NSA to lead the probe instead.
Two hours after Osifo’s remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) responded, expressing concern over the issue. In a statement issued by Zakari Mijinyawa, the Head of Strategic Communication in the NSA Office, Ribadu conveyed regret for the incident involving Ajaero and unequivocally condemned it, citing a violation of the rule of law, as well as the fundamental principles of freedom of association and expression endorsed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his administration.
The NSA emphasized that the Federal Government would not tolerate such actions under any circumstances.
“As a fallout of the incident relevant authorities were directed to conduct thorough investigation into the circumstances sorrounding the assault and bring to book the culprits. Available update indicates that some arrests have already been made in this regard. The outcome of the investigation will be made public as soon as it is concluded,” the statement partly read.
“The Federal Government, through the Office of the NSA, therefore appeals to the labour leadership to call off the current strike action and allow the dialogue process underway to be exhausted.”
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