Owerri Zone Awareness Coalition, OZAC, has called on Comrade Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)., to intervene on the strike embarked on his behalf by electricity workers in Imo State.
Ajaero, allegedly attacked by thugs linked to Governor Hope Uzodimma’s aide, Nze Chinasa Nwaneri, on November 1, had prompted a solidarity strike by electricity workers, leaving the state in darkness.
Ajaero had detailed the assault, claiming to have been physically and visually impaired by the assailants with the aid of the police
Since the attack, power supply across Imo State has been deliberately halted by electricity workers aligning themselves with the plight of the Labour leader.
OZAC, in a statement on Sunday, signed by its Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Eke, implored Ajaero to reconsider the continuation of the strike.
Expressing concern over the severe consequences, OZAC highlighted the economic downturn, collapsing small-scale businesses, and the precarious security situation arising from the prolonged power outage in the State.
While condemning the brutality inflicted upon Ajaero, the group acknowledged Governor Uzodimma’s national television apology and the redeployment of the State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Barde, as positive steps, that should compel Mr Ajaero to have a rethink and suspend the strike of the electricity workers.
“Two out of the NLC’s demands have been addressed, with ongoing investigations by the Inspector General of Police into his assault” part of the OZAC statement stated.
OZAC emphasized the immense hardship faced by Imo residents due to the extended power outage, coupled with exorbitant fuel prices reaching N700 per litre and skyrocketing living costs.
It urged Ajaero to reconsider his stance, recognizing the efforts made towards meeting the NLC’s demands and emphasizing the necessity of restoring electricity to alleviate the populace’s suffering.
In their plea, OZAC urged Ajaero not to exacerbate the predicament of those he champions by prolonging the strike.
“The prevailing challenges in Imo State necessitate a balance between pursuing workers’ rights and mitigating the severe impact on the daily lives of the state’s inhabitants.
“Our plea underscores the delicate balance between activism and the responsibility to alleviate the broader hardships imposed on the people of Imo State”part of the statement stated.