NLC Strike: Imo NUJ Backs Joe Ajaero, Disassociates Self From Press Conference

The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Imo State Council has disassociated self from the press conference organized by a human rights group, Imo Patriots’ League.

Recall that the group on Wednesday, alleged that Imo state has lost over N500 billion, following the one-week blackout ordered by Organised Labour.

The leader of the group,  Onwuasoanya Jones, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri during the press conference.

Orgarnised labour last week Wednesday declared a blackout in Imo, after the alleged beaten of the National President, Joe Ajaero, during strike action in the state.

However, the continued blackout did not go down well with some residents as it was causing much pain to them, just as they pleaded with the Federal government to intervene.

One of them, the Imo Patriots League, said: “We find it reprehensible that Comrade Joe Ajaero, an Imo son could bring himself to derail the governorship election because of his political agenda, which by all intents and purposes is vindictive and selfish.

“In the last seven days, Imo State has lost over 500 billion Naira due to Comrade Joe Ajaero’s imposed blackout on Imo people. Small-scale business owners are rapidly going out of business due to the high cost of running their businesses, hotel owners are being stifled, students are left desperate in search of sources of illumination to study their books, and civil servants have had their basic budgets strained because they are not able to preserve their food. Everyone and every sector in Imo State is adversely affected by the ongoing Ajaero-imposed blackout on our dear State. And we ask; Is the Labour Union now against or for the people?”

“The ongoing industrial action is unpopular with a large majority of the Imo workforce who have defied Ajaero’s call for strike action. Across different ministries, schools and agencies, workers are reporting to their workplaces and people are going about their businesses, because they do not see any genuine reason to go on a protest against the State government.

“Except for the punishing power outage executed at the whims of Joe Ajaero by his acolytes at the Transmission Company of Nigeria, there is not a single sign that NLC’s order for a total shutdown of the State is being adhered to. This is clear evidence that Ajaero is on his own,” he said

Meanwhile, reacting to the development in a statement jointly by the Chairman of Imo NUJ, Comrade Precious Nwadike and Secretary, Mr. Ori Martin, disassociated self from the press conference and condemned the attack on Ajaero.

According to the statement, “The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Imo State Council has observed with great dismay and severe pain the clearly orchestrated as well as ill conceived media attack hauled at the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajero by a group called, Imo Patriots’ League.

“The Imo Patriots’ League, with its convener, Onwuasonya FCC Jones, had addressed the press whereupon it opened and tailored unguided attacks on Ajero. FCC Jones and his league of anti-Ajero and their co-travellers in their despicable antics, without any recourse to the facts on ground took the NLC President to the cleaners, insulting, abusing, deriding and calling an already traumatized man all manner of unprintable names.

“The full and glaring flaws of that condemnable media fire stroke against Ajero notwithstanding, what actually embarrassed and even shocked us, the executive and members of Imo State NUJ, was the crude importation and surreptitious insertion of our hallowed professional organization into that ill-advised, miscalculated, half-baked and absolutely irrelevant press release by Ifeanyi Nwanguma who signed off as Imo NUJ chairman. All this smacks of semi-literacy or illiteracy of the satanic schemers.

“By supporting the action of the Imo State Government against its prey and victim – Joe Ajero – who has suffered untold pain and humiliation as a result of alleged State-sponsored abduction and brutalization, Ifeanyi Nwanguma has practically confirmed that he works and functions for the current state actors and of course, deficient of a good conscience. This is purely antithetical to the ordinances as well as the professionalism and intellectual soundness journalism and journalists stand for.

“For the records, the press being the Fourth Estate of the Realm presupposes that journalists are not meant to function either for or against the government or any other body for that matter. Rather, the press, with the journalists at the driver’s seat are composed to serve all for the purposes of informing, educating and entertaining the public without fear, prejudice or emotional imbalance.

“The malicious attack on Ajero by the police and thugs allegedly sponsored by state actors is really regrettable. If Ajero had, in the eyes of his ruthless attackers, contravened any established law, the best approach would have been to either take him to court or extend a police invitation to him. Ajero’s attack was an affront and infringement on his fundamental rights as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Therefore, we totally disassociate ourselves and our noble Imo NUJ Council from the infantile press conference by Imo Patriots’ League Group by which our association was dragged through the mud. Enough of this impunity.”

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