In a dramatic turn of events, the federal government deployed a contingent of soldiers, police personnel, and operatives from various security agencies on Thursday to disperse members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
The NLC and TUC had orchestrated a protest at the Abuja airport, enforcing their directive to aviation workers to cease all flights to Owerri, Imo State.
This directive was a response to the recent assault on NLC President Joe Ajaero, allegedly carried out by police personnel associated with Governor Hope Uzodimma.
The NLC reported that Ajaero was not only beaten but also blindfolded immediately upon arrest by security operatives. To date, Ajaero’s personal belongings, including phones, remain unrecovered.
Chanting and singing, union members gathered at the protest venue, displaying banners that conveyed solidarity with oppressed Imo State workers, emphasizing the principle that “An Injury To One Is An Injury To All.”
As tensions escalated, security forces, including the army, police, Department of State Services (DSS), and civil defense, were dispatched to disperse the demonstrators forcefully.
Protesters on the scene shared concerns about the imminent use of force by the security forces.
The deployment of such a comprehensive security presence underscores the escalating tensions between the labour unions and the government, raising questions about the future trajectory of the ongoing conflict.