Imo State has been thrown into a state of disarray as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) embarked on an indefinite industrial action, beginning on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.
The strike action has effectively grounded commercial activities in the state, with passengers at Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport and other international airports stranded as flights in and out of the state have been restricted.
According to a communiqué signed by the Secretary-General of the NLC, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbuaja, the strike action was declared after thugs, suspected to be working for the Imo state government, disrupted the 2023 edition of the Workers Day celebration in the state.
The unions also alleged that the state government had violated the rules of engagement by using thugs to violently disrupt the event, vandalizing properties and causing stampedes that led to various degrees of injury among the workers.
The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) held a joint Central Working Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, in Abuja, where they resolved to embark on a comprehensive industrial action against the government of Imo state.
The communiqué directed the aviation industry to paralyze flights coming to Imo state with effect from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
“The Imo state government must sign the agreement reached between it and workers in the month of March 2023,” the communiqué stated.
In response to the strike action, the Imo state government accused the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, of working for the enemies of the government.
In a statement issued by Declan Emelumba, the Imo state Commissioner for Information, he said that contrary to Ajaero’s claims, Imo workers and pensioners in their numbers, converged at Real Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Square on May 1, 2023, for yet another memorable May Day celebration.
“The grouse of Joe Ajaero with these leaders is that they refused to be recruited into his hare force to amplify his rabid hatred for the governor and state government, fired purely by his selfish political and clannish interest,” Emelumba stated.
Meanwhile, the blackout in the state has worsened the situation, with commercial activities almost at a standstill.
When our correspondent visited state ministries, banks, and some other government agencies, he observed that the environment was not booming as usual as some entities did not comply with the strike action.
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