Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma has issued a public apology for the recent assault on the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, during a protest against unpaid salaries in the state last week.
The incident occurred during a strike declared by the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Imo State. It prompted the suspension of all flights to the region due to the upcoming gubernatorial election preparations.
Governor Uzodinma, initially critical of Ajaero for entering the state, expressed remorse during an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today. He clarified that he was unaware of the NLC president’s presence in the state and disassociated his government from the assault.
“I have never been at odds with the labour union. Whatever transpired leading to the assault on Joe Ajaero in my state, of which I was unaware, is regrettable, and both my government and I express remorse,” the governor stated.
He emphasised his commitment to non-violence, saying, “As a Christian who believes in God, I cannot support violence and would never advocate for it. Moving forward, I also hope he approaches matters in a more civilised manner.”
Governor Uzodinma called for better communication channels, stating, “For a native of my state to take to the streets without engaging me, without presenting the allegations to me… I must apologise because it occurred in my state.”
In response to the incident, the NLC directed aviation unions to blacklist the Imo airport and declared Governor Uzodinma persona non-grata.