By Bimbola Oyesola, Molly Kilete, Abuja and Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Kaduna, yesterday, became a ghost town as socio-economic activities were paralysed following the commencement of a five-day industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The workers converged at the State Congress Secretariat yesterday in their thousands for the protest vowing to continue its industrial action until the state government rescinds its anti-workers policy.
Workers both in the public and private sectors joined the strike. Most people stayed indoors, and only few were seen opening their businesses, despite the assurance from labour that the action would be peaceful.
Addressing the workers, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba said there would be no retreat, no surrender during the scheduled five-day action.
He said all affiliates from electricity, petroleum, railway, aviation, banks have complied shutting down all their operations.
He lamented that despite that Kaduna State government generated the highest internal revenue in the North, it has the least workers and has continued to retrench without due process.
“This is just the beginning, tomorrow we will make sure that the number of our members on the road are more than this. We are complying fully with the constitution and we are fully aware of the COVID-19 protocol and complying,” he said.
The NLC President Ayuba Wabba, who led thousands of workers to State House of Assembly , Government House, and State Secretariat in Kaduna, emphasised that organised labour would ensure its demands are acceded to by the Governor nadir El-Rufai.
“The decision has been communicated to all security agencies of government. It is the beginning of struggle of labour, hope our politicians will cooperate with us to ensure we protect our democracy by delivering its dividends to the citizens including workers. More than 90 per cent of Nigerians are living in abject poverty and that is why insecurity and other social vices have increased in the country.”
He alleged that El-Rufai had gone further to increase school fees thereby making the children of those sacked from their working place without payment to become dropouts.
Meanwhile, acting Inspector-General of Police(IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of additional police personnel and crime prevention assets to ensure public safety and strengthen security along the Kaduna – Abuja expressway.
The IGP, said the deployment was aimed at enhancing police visibility, prevent and neutralise possible criminal activities targeted at citizens plying the ever busy road.
Alkali who gave the order in a statement signed by force public relations officer Frank Mba, assured Nigerians of the readiness of the police to promote public safety and called on the public particularly communities, transporters and commuters along Kaduna – Abuja expressway, to cooperate with security operatives deployed to their areas.