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NLC strike bites hard in Kaduna as Governor El-rufai battles labour on all fronts

Having failed in his strong arm tactic to browbeat members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) into discontinuing with the industrial action started on Monday, Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has taken the fight to labour on many fronts – ordering the dismissal of Kaduna State University (KASU) lecturers and Grade level 14 nurses who joined in the strike.

In the statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye on Tuesday, the Governor stated that his state will not tolerate “criminal acts disguised as industrial action.”

On the dismissal of the striking lecturers, the statement read, “any academic staff of KASU that does not report for work will be dismissed. The authorities of KASU are to submit a copy of the attendance register for all categories of staff daily to the Secretary to the State Government and the Commissioner for Education.”

Governor El-rufai vowed that his state will not submit its treasury to the “entitled minority” while adding that, “we will reform and right-size our public service to meet the needs and resources of the Kaduna State even if the NLC strike continues ad infinitum.

Ongoing NLC Industrial Action

It would be recalled that the Kaduna State Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities had on Monday directed its members to join the warning strike by labour in the state.

In a circular, the Chairperson of ASUU in Kaduna, Dr Peter Adamu, told members to remember that ASUU is an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the principal officers of the union are part of the NLC National Executive Council.

He warned that members who go against the directive of the Union should note that the union will not be there for them when the wrath of the governor falls on them, according to NAN.

In a related development, the Governor also ordered the sack of all nurses below grade level 14 in the state Civil Service and directed the Ministry of Health to advertise openings to replace the dismissed staff for daring to join the NLC on the industrial action.

Second Day of NLC Industrial Action

In another statement by his media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, Governor El-rufai said that, “The Ministry of Health will dismiss all nurses below GL 14 for going on an unlawful strike. Salaries that could have gone to them are to be given as extra ordinary occupational allowances to the health workers who are at their duty posts to fill the gap of those absconding from duty,” the statement read.

Earlier on Tuesday, Governor Nasir El-rufai declared the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Ayuba Wabba and others wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure under Miscellaneous Offences Act.  

In the statement, El-rufai, asked anyone that knows where he (Wabba) is hiding to send a message to the Ministry of Justice, Kaduna or the Kaduna State Government and promised a handsome reward for anyone involved in his arrest.

However, in a swift move of total defiance, Wabba led members of the Nigerian Labour Congress to a second day of protest to the government house- daring the governor to arrest him, according to a report by Daily Trust.

Not satisfied with his recourse to executive fiat to stop the industrial action, the governor also poured venom on Professor Chidi Odinkalu for his statements on the impact of the strike. In a tweet on his official twitter handle as sighted by RovingNaija, El-rufai condemned the right activist, referring to him as “chartered and certified fake news merchant, false Professor (who) is wanted for incitement, injurious falsehood, etc by Kaduna High Court is lying again: (1) all schools (2) most filling stations and (3) public hospitals (are) operating at noon. You are cursed!” he said.

Kaduna State Chapter members of the NLC
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