Uzodimma slams NLC’s Ajaero, as FMC faults Labour’s claims on treatment
Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, on Thursday shed light on the crisis rocking the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in his state.
He blamed it all on NLC President Joe Ajaero who he accused of “mixing partisanship with Labour affairs”.
The governor spoke on the crisis during an interview with State House reporters in Abuja after receiving the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) flag from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as candidate in the November 11 poll.
Uzodimma was in the company of the party’s stand bearers Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa) and Usman Ododo (Kogi). The duo also got the APC flags from the president.
Ajaero, who was in Owerri on Wednesday to mobilise workers for a “shut down” of Imo, was attacked at the Sam Mbakwe Airport before security operatives moved in “to take him to a protective custody”.
The NLC rejected the police claim on protection for Ajaero, saying the police were part of his attackers.
Uzodimma accused Ajaero of being unable to distinguish his role as a national Labour leader and being a partisan Imo State indigene.
As the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the state, the governor said he intervened to stop the dissolution of the state chapter of the NLC, whose tenure he said had not expired.
On why Ajaero was attacked in the state, Uzodimma said: “I wanted you people to be very careful because there is an attempt to mix up partisan politics or an attempt to blackmail my government, but I can tell you that my people are already aware of that.
“That was why the NLC (Imo State chapter) addressed a new conference that what their national leadership is doing is not correct and that they are not going to do any strike or protests and in the process, they decided to dissolve them to put in a caretaker.
“Of course, I’m the Chief Security Officer and I have a responsibility to intervene. I encouraged the national leadership not to dissolve a management team that their tenure has not expired and that was what they did.
“I don’t interfere with Labour matters, but I have convinced my workers in Imo State to believe in me and that trust is what opposition parties are trying to fight.
“But, I can assure you that Imo people already have taken that decision.”
Watch video below where Ajaero narrates his ordeal:
Labour, FMC differ on treatment claim
Meanwhile, the management of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, has disagreed with Lanour union’s claim that Ajaero will be flown abroad to treat the injuries he sustained because he could not be treated in the facility.
NLC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Benson Upah said Ajaero will be travelling overseas to treat the injuries he sustained during the botched workers protest.
Upah claimed that Ajaero was first taken to the police hospital where he was given first aid treatment but because there were no facilities to treat him there, he was taken to the FMC.
The Labour official said: “What happened was that at 3.30pm on Wednesday, we were able to make contact with him. The police rushed him to the police hospital but there were no facilities there to treat him; from there to the FMC where they found out that he needed Ultrasound and Optical Coherence Tomography to scan his eyes, as well as another machines to scan his brain and ear.
“The FMC couldn’t handle all these and our conclusion is to fly him out of the country where his condition can be handled.”
But the FMC spokesman, Dr. Josy Achonu, countered the claim by the Labour official. He insisted that the hospital has full accreditation for all its departments.
Mrs. Achonu said: “All our departments including the Ophthalmology department have full accreditation.”
She further informed that every consultant was around to treat Ajaero, adding that the hospital bills were written off on the orders of the Chief Medical Director.
She said: “All consultants were present to treat him and he was treated free of charge. Our MD gave a directive that his bill be offset. So, he was given the best of treatment and even the NLC members have come to the hospital to thank us.”
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