30th of April, 2023
HOPE UZODIMA HAS STARTED AGAIN IN IMO STATE!
Our attention has been drawn to a circular issued by the Government of Imo state under the leadership of Hope Uzodima ordering all workers in the State to attend tomorrow’s May Day celebrations by force in his chosen venue and under his own clone of NLC & TUC with a threat to punish those who refuses to attend.
We are not surprised that this Governor is behaving this way given the nature of his emergence as Governor. He has trampled upon all known statutes both local and international in an effort to muzzle all voices of opposition in the State while he holds workers and the people down in the cesspit of fear and great despair.
It is amazing that the Government does not understand that you cannot dictate to workers how and where to hold their May Day celebration. Government is not in a position to decide how and where workers decide to hold their celebration. It is supposed to be a day of freedom but Hope has decided to turn it into a day of bondage.
This is unacceptable and runs counter to the provisions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) especially the spirit of conventions 87 and 98 which also speaks of non interference of government and employers in the internal affairs of Workers.
Imo state government has continued to defy sane engagements, reasonable dialogue and compliance with the Laws of the nation. He believes that the same impunity that may have brought him to Power can sustain him everything he does in government.
NLC wants to state clearly that we are not fazed by his threat to sanction our workers who have decisively concluded not to attend his version of the May Day celebrations wherever he has chosen to celebrate it with the stooges that he has selected and is using to exploit, oppress and emasculate workers in the state.
We urge workers in Imo state to ignore this Nicodemus Circular that was hurriedly issued on a Sunday and proceed to the State Secretariat of NLC in Owerri where workers are gathering to observe the May Day as originally planned. We will defend to any extent anybody the lawless government thinks they can victimize. It is our celebration and we will decide how to go about it.
Once again, Imo state government should understand that attendance at May Days is not by force as workers are free to celebrate it the way they choose. The government cannot dictate to workers on this. This action has truly demonstrated to everybody the depth of the contempt with which the State holds it’s workers and citizens. It has shown that the government believes that workers are slaves owned by the government to treat anyhow it likes.
We want the federal government to call this budding dictator in Imo state to order to avoid a conflagration. We cannot fold our hands and watch him seek to decimate sane industrial relations traditions and standards in the state. This height of madness should not be allowed to exist in a sane society to avoid the creation of a State of anomie. We are a country governed by Laws and those who cannot play by the rule book must be resisted.
The NLC reiterates that our May Day celebration this year in Imo state will begin with an assembly at the State Secretariat of the NLC from where the workers will proceed on a peaceful rally around the state capital as it decides. All workers are free to attend and participate. It is our Day, nobody can take it away from us!
Comrade Joe Ajaero President