National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu issued an apology to the organized labor on Wednesday for the assault on Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, on November 1.
Ajaero, who had arrived in Owerri to lead a protest, was subjected to severe beatings and detained for an extended period. Subsequently, the labor union presented the government with an ultimatum to address certain demands, which included apprehending those responsible for the attack on Ajaero. They warned of a nationwide strike if their demands were not met.
Despite the Federal Government’s legal attempts to restrain the labor movement, the strike began on Monday, causing widespread disruption of activities throughout the country.
In an official statement from the Office of the National Security Adviser, signed by Zakari U Mijinyawa, the Head of Strategic Communications, Ribadu called on the labor movement to reconsider its decision regarding the ongoing strike. He revealed that the individuals responsible for the attack on Ajaero had been arrested, and investigations were underway.
Ribadu expressed the federal government’s regret over the incident in Imo, condemning it entirely. He emphasized that the incident ran counter to the principles of the rule of law, as well as the values of freedom of association and expression endorsed by President Tinubu and his administration.