Adams Oshiomhole, senator representing Edo north, says he was handed the kind of raw deal allegedly dished on Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Ajaero was reportedly picked up from the Imo council secretariat of the congress in Owerri by heavily armed police officers.
But the Imo police command denied the allegation, stating that the NLC president was taken into protective custody, to save him from being lynched by a mob.
Soon after, however, images of a visibly chastised Ajaero made the rounds on the internet, with the labour leader and the union stating that the NLC president was “thoroughly brutalised”.
Ajaero said the police handed him to thugs who beat him to a pulp.
In order to protest the alleged brutality, the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) commenced a nationwide strike on November 14. The strike was, however, called off on Wednesday.
‘THEY DRAGGED ME ON THE TARMAC’
Speaking on Wednesday when he was interviewed on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Oshiomhole said he was assaulted by personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) during his spell as labour leader.
The former NLC president said the incident occurred when the union handed an ultimatum to the federal government over the withdrawal of subsidy on petrol.
“I had a similar experience. I was on my way to Delta state and I went to the airport,” he said.
“The then director of SSS ordered that I should be arrested and stopped from travelling because we had given an ultimatum to the then federal government headed by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“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 colonel Are.
“He offered to take me to their own hospital and 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. I ended up being detained and was taken away for two days.
“For at least 48 hours, the NLC couldn’t locate me. When eventually I was let out, the bandage on my arm with the blood and all that, I told my colleagues; ‘This blood would rather reinforce and whet my appetite for the struggle for justice.”
Oshiomhole had also criticised organised labour “for mixing politics” with union agitations. [TheCable]