By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, will be flown abroad for medical care, following injuries sustained after he was allegedly brutalised by state agents during a protest in Owerri, Imo State, south east Nigeria.
Ajaero was in Owerri on Wednesday, November 1, to mobilise Imo workers for a protest rally in the state over an alleged violation and abuse of the rights and privileges of workers by the state government led by governor Hope Uzodinma.
He was said to have been abducted by officers of the Nigeria Police Force, an allegation the Imo State command denied.
The command said the labour leader was taken to safety to avoid an attack by workers in Imo State who pulled out from the protest, denying a frosty relationship with the state government.
Announcing plans to fly Ajaero abroad for proper treatment on Thursday, the NLC Publicity Secretary, Benson Upah said he could not be treated at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri.
This he said is due to the nature of the injuries he sustained during the scuffle.
Ajaero was later released on Wednesday but with injuries on his face, indicating that he was brutalised and manhandled by those who abducted him momentarily.
Uzodinma is fighting for his political survival after the Supreme Court had in a controversial judgment in January 2020 pronounced him the duly elected governor of the state despite coming fourth in the election in which Emeka Ihedioha was pronounced winner by the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The state is heading to elect a new governor on November 11 in which Uzodinma is seeking a second term amidst large scale security concerns and shrinking human rights space.