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IMO MAY DAY CRISIS: NLC SAYS WORKERS UNDER BONDAGE, ALLEGES GOVERNOR UZODINMA SENT THUGS TO ATTACK WORKERS, DISRUPT RALLY

Comrade Chris Onyeka, Assistant General Secretary, Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has asserted that Imo State workers are in bondage under Governor Hope Uzodinma.

Onyeka made the assertion this Thursday morning while speaking as a guest on Kaakaki, AIT’s current Affairs programme.

Recall that on Monday, 1st May, 2023, there was crisis in Imo State when the Workers Day Rally at Dan Anyiam Stadium was disrupted by thugs allegedly sent by the State Government.

According to Onyeka, “Imo State workers are in bondage under Governor Hope Uzodinma.”

He explained that the Governor had made it impossible for the workers to work with his strong arm tactics.

Explaining the Genesis of the crisis, he said, “Last year, the workers wanted to go on strike because of unpaid salaries but it was put on hold after interventions.

“We had negotiations with the State Government. However, at the point of signing the already typed resolutions, the representatives of the State Government; the Head of Service and the Commissioner for Labour pulled out, saying that the Governor asked them to withdraw, that he wanted to be physically present at the signing of the resolutions. That was that.

“Then we decided to embark on strike but the Governor sent thugs to attack workers and disrupt the Workers Day Rally”.

When asked how he knew that the State Government sent the thugs he had this to say: “Security agencies were present giving us protection for the rally. Suddenly, they pulled out citing orders from above. As soon as they left, the thugs invaded the venue to attack the workers and disrupt the rally.

“Orders from above is it the Federal Government?” he asked rhetorically.

On the allegation by the management of Air Peace that it was insensitive of the NLC to disrupt flight operations at the Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri knowing fully well that the Airline was into contractual agreement with its passengers, the Labour leader said,

“We appreciate the patriotic role being played by the airline by airlifting Nigerians stranded in Sudan and we sympathize with them over any inconveniences arising from the strike.

“However, it was not targetted at Airpeace personally. There are four airlines operating in that airport. When the aircraft was loading at Lagos, they told us they are going to Port Harcourt. So, landing at Owerri during the strike was a breach of trust”

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