By AFP – Agence France Presse
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Nigeria’s predominant labour union on Friday threatened to name a strike after its chief was overwhelmed up at a rally, sparking outcry in Africa’s largest financial system.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) claims authorities in southeastern Imo state organized the assault to stifle protests over employees’ rights.
It stated Joe Ajaero was badly harm when police and a gaggle of “thugs” assaulted the union chief, bundling him right into a van and briefly detaining him.
Police denied arresting Ajaero and claimed they took him into “protecting custody” to protect him from a mob assault, whereas the state governor informed Nigerian media the assault was an “ugly coincidence” and accused Ajaero of meddling in native politics.
The NLC and Nigeria’s different predominant union motion the Commerce Union Congress (TUC) have been in talks with the federal government over latest reforms which have seen gas and meals costs sharply improve.
In a joint assertion on Friday they stated they’d “now not assure industrial peace in Nigeria” from Wednesday subsequent week if the federal government failed to satisfy its calls for, which included the resignation of police officers.
“We’re nervous that it has turn into felony for employees in Nigeria to assemble for a peaceable protest,” they stated.
Current strikes have had a combined turnout. Final month the unions agreed to name off a deliberate strike in protest over rising dwelling prices after the federal government provided a package deal of measures to cushion the affect of its financial reforms.
The NLC, an umbrella group of commerce unions, had deliberate an illustration within the Imo state capital Owerri on Wednesday over “non-payment of salaries and pensions for 44 months and violation of different labour rights,” spokesman Benson Upah informed AFP.
However state police stated the protest had been banned.
The unions stated “police personnel” attacked Ajaero after a crackdown on the demonstration.
The union chief was taken to a police hospital and handled on the metropolis’s Federal Medical Centre, the NLC stated. It has since shared photos displaying Ajaero with a bruised face and a neck brace.
Chief of the opposition Labour Occasion Peter Obi condemned the assault, saying it “exhibits the extent of lawlessness, impunity, criminality, and rascality which have engulfed our expensive nation”.