The Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai, has vowed that his administration would not honour a meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) unless electricity is restored in his state.
I was gathered that El-Rufai made the comment after the NLC suspended a five-day warning strike embarked upon to protest the Kaduna government’s planned mass sack of civil servants over an alleged severe fiscal crisis.
The NLC explained that it suspended the industrial action after the intervention of the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, who requested parties to sheathe swords for a federal government-mediated negotiation to hold in Abuja on Thursday, May 20.
However, shortly after the suspension of the strike, Governor El-Rufai said no official of his government would negotiate with the unions unless electricity is restored in the state. The governor also lambasted the federal government for allowing workers of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) owned by it to disrupt electricity supply to his state.
It was also gathered that the National Union of Electricity Employees is an affiliate of the NLC and its members had on Sunday, May 16, switched off electricity supply in the state and joined the strike.
However, there are reports that the TCN has restored electricity to Kaduna, hours after the NLC called off its warning strike in the city.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna state governor had earlier vowed that Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the NLC president, and other labour leaders would be dealt with. El-Rufai made the statement on Wednesday, May 19, during the 23rd Annual Tax Conference in Kaduna. He said by the time his government is done with them, Wabba and other NLC leaders will never return to Kaduna state.
The Kaduna state governor described the labour leaders as criminals, adding that their actions which prevented businesses like banks, petrol stations and others from opening are illegal.
In a related report, some thugs armed with dangerous weapons allegedly invaded the premises of the NLC secretariat in Kaduna state on Wednesday. The thugs numbering about 100 stormed the facility in an attempt to disrupt the protest by workers in the state. But, the police detachment in the state displaced the hoodlums from the secretariat. The spokesperson for the Kaduna police command, Muhammad Jalige, said about 20 of the thugs were arrested.
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