Former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has decried the recent assault on the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, in Imo State.
During an interview on Channels Television, Oshiomhole expressed his disapproval of organized labor’s decision to declare a nationwide strike in response to the incident. He further revealed his own experience of assault by the Department of State Services (DSS) during his tenure as the President of the NLC between 1999 and 2007.
Oshiomhole narrated his encounter, saying, “I had a similar experience… I was on my way to Delta State, and I went to the airport. The then director of SSS ordered that I should be arrested and stopped from traveling because we had given an ultimatum to the then Federal Government headed by President Olusegun Obasanjo.”
Recalling the incident, he continued, “They dragged me on the tarmac, and I had my cuts all over the place. They forcefully prevented me from flying and took me back to the DSS director general’s office — then Col. [Kayode] Are.”
Despite the offer to take him to their hospital, Oshiomhole expressed mistrust, stating, “I said, ‘No, I can’t even trust a government that has inflicted this kind of wound on me to treat me. They might as well poison my blood.’ I said I wasn’t going to do that.”
Oshiomhole revealed that he spent at least 48 hours in detention after being “taken away” but emphasized his commitment to persist in the struggle for justice. The former governor’s account highlights the historical challenges faced by labor leaders in Nigeria and underscores the need for accountability and respect for the rights of individuals.