Days after he was brutalised, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Comrade Joe Ajaero has claimed that it was police operatives that assaulted him during workers’ protest in Owerri, the Imo State capital last week.
Ajaero narrated his ordeal during a press briefing on Friday at the Pascal Bafyau Labour House in Abuja.
During the briefing, the NLC president said that he was arrested by Police personnel from the State Police Command, who beat, blind-folded and dragged him on the floor like a criminal.
He dismissed the claim that the protest in the state was political.
He maintained that he was there to protest the unfair labour treatment meted on workers in the state and the violation of their rights.
According to him, the debacle between NLC and the state government under Governor Hope Uzodimma administration predated his tenure in office as NLC national president.
The labour movement, he noted, would not be discouraged to ensure that the rights of workers were guaranteed, despite the maltreatment he received.
He said, “The policeman arrested me, hit me with all manner of things and they were asking me why I was challenging Hope, that I should say my last prayer, and that they were taking me to, they call it Njoaba River, and that’s where they threw me.
“The same people carried me to police headquarters to talk with their boss, and brought me down there. And the police people were standing outside as if they were waiting for a common criminal.
“But that wasn’t the end of my journey. When I got there, they transferred me to another boss, to where they call Tiger Base. It was there that they brought out even what they call court order, and started interrogating me.
“There, I was pleading that I needed to take some medications, I needed some medical attention. They interrogated me for hours. I think it was in that process that they got a call and took me to the office of the Commissioner of Police, who now ordered that I should be taken to police hospital,” he narrated.
Ajaero further said, “I don’t want to be emotional about it. That’s why we’re here today, and I’ve come to tell you that I’m here, I’m alive here today, you know, at least to narrate my story.
“I thank God that I’m alive today. And whosoever has diverted the workers’ money, wherever it might be, has diverted blood money, and has attracted generational curse.”