The recent blackout in Imo State, which has plunged the state capital and its environs into darkness for over nine days, has ignited a war of words between pro-Biafra activists and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Joe Ajaero.
While the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) claims the power outage is beyond its control, the Biafra Provisional Government has condemned the blackout and accused Ajaero of exploiting the situation for personal gain.
How the blackout started
The blackout crisis began following a clash between organized labor, led by Joe Ajaero, and state police command operatives. In response, the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) imposed a total blackout on the state, paralyzing businesses, and plunging residents into hardship.
Dr. Chile Nwoko, the President of the Biafra Provisional Government, expressed deep concern for the suffering inflicted on the people of Imo State by the labor unions’ actions.
NLC President accused of the Imo blackout
While wishing Ajaero a speedy recovery from his injuries, Nwoko accused him of exploiting the power crisis to gain popularity and sow discord between the state government and its people.
“What message is Mr. Ajaero passing across to the Imo masses?” Nwoko questioned. “Is it to cause disaffection between the people and the state government while he is indirectly destroying them and their livelihood? We’re still wondering what Mr. Ajaero intends to gain. Cheap popularity?”
Nwoko emphasized the importance of the hospitality industry in Owerri’s economy and how the power outage was affecting businesses. He added, “How will the hotels survive, and how do they pay their workers’ salaries?”
The Biafra Provisional Government President lamented that Imo State, like other parts of the country, had its share of challenges, and the ongoing blackout only exacerbated the suffering of the people.
He criticized Ajaero’s actions, suggesting that he should focus his efforts elsewhere, like Lagos State, where he alleged properties were being demolished without compensation.
The group called on Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President-General of Ohanaeze, who hails from Imo State, not to remain silent in the face of destruction. They strongly condemned the punishment, suffering, and hardship imposed on the people by the decisions of the labor unions.
Meanwhile, the EEDC issued a statement through its Head of Corporate Communications, Emeka Ezeh, stating that the prolonged power outage was beyond its control. According to Ezeh, the EEDC relies on power supplied by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), and the station catering to Imo State had been shut down by the labor unions, leaving the company with no power to distribute.
As the standoff between the labor unions and EEDC continues, residents of Imo State are left grappling with the adverse effects of the blackout, while the war of words between pro-Biafra activists and labor leader Joe Ajaero rages on, with the focus firmly on the “Imo Blackout.”
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