#KadunaStrike: Governor El-Rufai Declares Labour President Wanted, Labour President Responds

The Kaduna state government, Northwest Nigeria, declared the leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress wanted, after the labour grounded economic activities in the state.

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna State Governor, Northwest Nigeria has declared Ayuba Waba, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President and other leaders of the organised labour wanted for ‘economic sabotage’ against the state.

The governor announced on his official Twitter account on Tuesday, May 18, that the labour leaders were wanted in the state for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure.

This development is coming on the heels of a statewide protest and five-day strike declared on Monday, May 17, by the organised labour against the plan by the Kaduna State Government to sack workers. 

Waba had led members of the Congress to a rally in Kaduna while also calling for the prosecution of the state governor for violating labour laws. 

Bara’atu Mohammed, the Kaduna State Head of Service, told journalists on Monday that the state government would not cower under the pressure of the five-day warning strike describing it as an attempt to sabotage the government’s plans.

“NLC are aware that inflicting pains on citizens by locking hospitals and shutting down electricity will not change the decision of Kaduna State government to rightsize and will not change our intention to use the Trade Union Act which prohibits strike by extension service workers,” Mohammed said, adding that the industrial strike was “a camp of social and economic sabotage.”

Since 2017, El-Rufai has sacked about 80,000 workers from the state’s civil service for what he describes as  a sound foundation for a prosperous state economy.

According to figures released by the organised labour in Nigeria, from 2017 to date, 21,770 Kaduna State primary school teachers were sacked; and over 30,000 were disengaged for failing competency tests, with thousands of them yet to receive their disengagement benefits.

The latest disengagement of 4000 local government workers in the state on April 6, 2021, prompted the ongoing strike in the state.

NLC President responds

Meanwhile, Ayuba Waba, President of the NLC has challenged the Kaduna State Government to carry out its threat of arrest.

“Let him come and arrest me,” Waba said in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune. 

“It is not about me. We are here and waiting for them,” he declared as the protest and strike entered the second day in Kaduna. 

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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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