From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Barely 24 hours after Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai declared the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, wanted over the ongoing 5-day warning strike in the state, the labour leader said he was available for arrest.
Leading the second day of the strike on Tuesday along Muhammadu Buhari Way, Kaduna, Wabba told reporters seeking his reaction to his being declared wanted: ‘Let them come and arrest me.’
Governor El-Rufai had said in a tweet that ‘Ayuba Wabba & others of @NLCHeadquarters declared wanted for economic sabotage & attacks on public infrastructure under Miscellaneous Offences Act. Anyone that knows where he is hiding should send a message to @MOJKaduna. KDSG. There will be a handsome reward!’
KADUNA UPDATE: Ayuba Wabba & others of @NLCHeadquarters declared wanted for economic sabotage & attacks on public infrastructure under Miscellaneous Offences Act. Anyone that knows where he is hiding should send a message to @MOJKaduna. KDSG. There will be a handsome reward!
— Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai (@elrufai) May 18, 2021
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government has said that the conditions that compelled its decision to rightsize staff strength have not been altered by the NLC’s campaign of economic and social sabotage.
According to Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication) Muyiwa Adekeye, ‘KDSG remains firmly committed to using all the resources it can generate to serve the interests of the majority of its citizens, putting the many ahead of the few. The unlawful actions and reckless statements that define the NLC’s assault on the rights of the people of Kaduna State, are a needless exercise in futility.
‘Desperate actions undertaken by the NLC today include unlawful trespass on government facilities, and attempts to prevent officers from signing attendance registers.
‘Despite these actions, the state government has guaranteed access to the State Secretariat and other government offices. KDSG intends to continue running its operations in the service to the people, despite the futile efforts of the NLC to impede it.
‘The State Executive Council also held its regular weekly meeting to discuss policy matters germane to the progress of the state and the welfare of its people.
‘In addition to shutting down electricity, the NLC has also shut healthcare access for several of our citizens. They have closed several hospitals and chased away the patients. General hospitals in Kawo, Tudun-Wada, Kafanchan, Giwa, Rigasa, Kakuri and Sabon Tasha were illegally locked. They also shut rural hospitals and primary health centres in Kwoi, Turunku and other locations across the state. Preventing patients from receiving treatment in public health facilities certainly does not qualify as a pro-people action.
‘The State Government is documenting all these violations of the Miscellaneous Offences Act and the Trade Union Act. The government shares the pain of the people of Kaduna State amidst the avalanche of unlawful conduct by the NLC and appeals to all residents to remain calm and vigilant. The resort to coercion and the imposition of restraints on the personal freedom and comfort of citizens confirm that this is a campaign of sabotage, not an industrial action.
‘KDSG welcomes the visit by the leaders of the Trade Union Congress who met with our Head of Service, Bariatu Y Mohammed, this morning. Hajiya Bariatu commended the constructive attitude of the TUC delegation led by Barrister Musa Lawal, its Secretary-General. The Head of Service also disclosed that all officers from GL 14 upwards are expected at their duty posts as usual.’