The Nigerian government has deployed a contingent of soldiers, police personnel, and operatives from other security agencies to disperse Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) members at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
The NLC and TUC members had assembled at the Abuja airport to enforce their directive to aviation workers, urging them to halt all flights to Owerri, Imo State.
The action was prompted by the reported assault on NLC President Joe Ajaero by police personnel allegedly affiliated with Governor Hope Uzodimma’s administration.
Ajaero was reportedly subjected to physical assault and blindfolded following his arrest by security operatives, according to a statement released by the NLC last week.
The union also highlighted that Ajaero’s confiscated belongings, including his phone, had not been returned.
At the protest scene, union members sang and chanted, displaying banners with messages like ‘We Stand With Oppressed Imo State Workers – An Injury To One Is An Injury To All.’
One of the protesters informed Sahara Reporters that security forces comprising the Department of State Security, Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Army, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were at the airport with instructions to disperse the gathering by force. However, no confrontation had commenced at the time of reporting.
Meanwhile, the minister of aviation and aerospace development, has accused the opposition Labour Party of using the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to disrupt economic activities in the country.
Keyamo made the accusation while reacting to the closure of the entry and exit gates of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by the NLC and Trade Union Congress (NLC) on Thursday.
The minister appealed to labour leaders to cease disruption of aviation activities across the country.
Condemning the alleged molestation of the NLC chairman, Joe Ajaero, the minister advised people to avoid environments that will cause such manhandling.
“Aviation was not involved in the alleged molestation of the labour leader. Please, leave aviation alone. In targeting aviation, it affects both foreigners. They are disrupting the entire country. They are my friends, I have been part of them,” Keyamo said.
“Do not allow the Labour Party to destroy the labour movement. Call your leaders together. In other climes were these happen the Labour movement are the owner of the party, here they don’t own the party.The Labour movement cannot be hirelings of the Labour Party.
“This is my appeal to them, do not destroy yourselves on the platform of politics. They should not target aviation and please not bring politics to aviation. What they are doing is politics, not labour movement. It is not fight for the workers. It’s politics.
“I condemn what happened to my friend, Ajaero. But in the same breath, you should not find yourself in such place,” he added.
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