Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has insisted that his government is not ready to pay redundant workers and that he would act on damages done by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) during the warning strike.
El-Rufai, in a radio broadcast at the weekend, commended Federal Government for its effort to intervene in the logjam between Labour and the State Government. He also thanked citizens for their resilience during the strike period.
He said: “I address you, today, on behalf of the Kaduna State Government to thank you for your resilience in the face of sustained assault on your rights, freedoms, and livelihoods by the NLC over the previous four days.
“We appreciate the calm response by our citizens to NLC’s unwarranted provocation, lawlessness, and denial of essential services. We thank our traditional, community and religious leaders, who helped to manage the strong feelings of our people against the needless pain imposed on them.
“Kaduna Government wishes to express its regrets that such lawlessness was permitted by those with the duty to prevent it. We sympathize with all our citizens for the denial of electricity for four days and the persistent attempt to disrupt normal life and prevent government offices, hospitals, banks, and other private businesses from functioning. The laws of our country do not allow anyone to shutdown essential services. The right to strike does not include license to violate public and private facilities or to shut them down in any way.
“Persons on strike can withdraw from the facilities where they are working, but they are not allowed to stop those facilities from functioning. As your government, we will pursue accountability for the crimes that have been committed and seek remedies for our people…”
He explained that the state Government has done a lot for the welfare of workers, including payment of the minimum wage, pension, and other entitlements of civil servants.
“Many states are yet to pay these wages, while some that began paying have reversed it. But it is the state that is consistently paying that the NLC came to sabotage. We will not become a state that only pays salary, and no amount of pressure will change that. We are a state that believes in progress and development, and we will continue to prioritize this…”