The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero has been arrested by the Police in Owerri, Imo State capital.
The development followed an ongoing protest by members of the union in the state.
It was gathered that the protest was hijacked by miscreants, who smashed vehicles and inflicted wounds on labour members.
NLC had on Sunday announced that it would stage a protest in the state over the alleged violation and abuse of rights and privileges of workers by the State government.
Ajaero’s arrest was reportedly effected as early as 8am Wednesday morning.
Our sources said workers were gathered at the state Secretariat of the NLC for the protest when suddenly some men with weapons stormed the Secretariat and attacked the workers and chased them away.
However, the workers re-assembled at the Secretariat again but this time led by the NLC President and General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja to commence the protest.
The source said, just as Ajaero was about to address the gathering, a team of armed Policemen came and took him away alongside some officials of the NLC.
Reports said several gunshots were fired to disperse the gathered workers.
NLC’s Head of Information and Publicity, Benson Upah confirmed the development, saying the Police have arrested Ajaero.
He said: “The NLC President was abducted by men suspected to be Policemen armed to their teeth at the Imo state NLC secretariat on Wednesday as we were about to commence our lawful protest against the violation of trade union rights of the workers”.
Also while giving an account of the incident, NLC Deputy General Secretary and Chief of Staff to the NLC President, Chris Onyeka said that he was standing with Ajaero when he was brutalised and arrested.
“As workers were gathering to protest their maltreatment by the state government in Owerri, Imo state and the President of NLC was about to address the workers, the Police came amidst attacks by thugs to arrest Ajaero.
“Thugs first attacked and dragged Ajaero from the platform before Police came to arrest him along with another senior official of the NLC,” he said.