Ajaero Using NLC To Pursue Personal, Political Agenda – Onanuga

Ajaero Using NLC To Pursue Personal, Political Agenda – Onanuga

Presidential aide, Bayo Onanuga has accused the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, of using his position as the leader of the workers’ union for personal agenda and politics.

Onanuga made the accusation in a post via his X handle on Friday while reacting to the disruption of flight operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Thursday by members of Organised Labour.

He said the use of the Labour platform by Ajaero to prosecute his personal and political agenda in his home state of Imo is an abuse that must be condemned by all men and women of goodwill.

He wrote: “Opinion: Labour Leader Ajaero pursuing personal political agenda and not the interest of workers.

“At the prompting of NLC leader Joe Ajaero, supporters of the Labour Party masquerading as workers on Thursday blocked the major highway to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

“For more than four hours, early morning travellers were held in the traffic as Ajaero’s party men turned the highway into a bedlam, claiming they were avenging the attack on Ajaero in Owerri, the capital of Imo.

“Because there was no forewarning about the blockade and no police permit, people missed their flights, and I learned some had to pay the airlines additional money to reschedule their departure. It took the intervention of the army and the police to clear the unwarranted madness displayed by the supporters of the little ‘big man’ of NLC, who felt the rest of the country must suffer because his ego was bruised by Imo state workers.

“The use of the Labour platform by Ajaero to prosecute his personal and political agenda in his home state of Imo is an abuse that must be condemned by all men and women of goodwill. The International Labour Organisation should take note of this unprecedented abuse of every known convention.

“Outside the Abuja airport blockade, Ajaero has also instigated Imo workers to go on strike, shut down the airport, cut off the power supply and in the most draconian demonstration of tyranny by a labour leader, he is threatening that Saturday’s election in his home state will not take place.”

The presidential aide said Ajaero is overstretching the limit of law and rights, adding that his actions are now within the remit of treason with his threat to create a constitutional crisis in Imo State.

Onanuga, therefore, advised the NLC President to separate his person from his leadership of the NLC.

He added: “This is rascality taken too far. Ajaero is overstretching the limit of law and rights. His actions are now within the remit of treason with his threat to create a constitutional crisis in Imo State.

“He was quoted to have said that nothing is wrong if INEC postpones the scheduled Saturday election, a case of a labour leader posturing that he is bigger than the Nigerian state.

“Nigerians should by now be getting the full picture of the openly partisan Joe Ajaero, the complete picture of what he is.
As leader of NLC, he does not believe in dialogue. Strike is the only and ultimate weapon in his arsenal.

“He is the first labour leader to declare open partisanship and membership of the Labour Party and the first to abuse his position as NLC leader to shut down a Nigerian state, all because he claimed he was beaten by the police.

“The police refuted his claim and said Ajaero was beaten by the same workers he used deception to call out to attend a rally in support of his Labour Party.

“I am surprised that the usually reasonable TUC is tagging along, and together, they are planning to shut down the country from Tuesday, without mandatory notice of a trade dispute, all because they want to punish Nigerians for the alleged maltreatment Ajaero claimed he got in Owerri.

“The decision to go on strike was taken at the National Executive Council (NEC) session of the NLC and the TUC on Tuesday. The unions did not indicate that the impending strike was because the government failed to implement the Memorandum of Understanding they reached with the government following fuel subsidy removal.

“They would have had no case if the MOU was their casus belli. Several weeks ago, the Federal Executive Council, chaired by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, approved and adopted wholesale the MOU. Some of the agreements in the MOU are being implemented. The wage award of N35,000 to Federal workers is being paid. The N25,000 to be paid over six months to 15 million households is also being executed.

“The government removed the 7.5% VAT on diesel as demanded by the Labour Movement and launched the Compressed Natural Gas vehicles last week, which it promised to provide countrywide.

“It is thus utterly surprising that despite all the efforts by the government to improve the economy and reduce living cost pressure on the masses, labour still contemplates going on strike and shutting down the economy.

“It is clear that what Labour is championing is no longer in the interest of Nigerian people and the workers. This is a strike of sabotage by political opposition, masquerading as Labour leaders. Essentially, it is Joe Ajaero abusing his lordship of the workers’ union for personal agenda and politics.

“My advice is that Ajaero should separate his person from his leadership of the NLC. For alleging he was bruised in Imo, he should seek redress in the court. He can sue the police if he truly believes the police assaulted him. He should not, for selfish political reasons and brazen partisanship, plunge the country into chaos.”

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