AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has alleged that, members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) were paid from Abuja to organise the recent protest against his government’s rightsizing exercise.
El-Rufai stated categorically that, he knows those who gave the labour leaders money, to organise the protest and he will soon expose them.
The Governor who declared the protest which shutdown electricity and other sectors of the economy in the State as illegal, therefore dared the labour movement to come to Kaduna for protest.
NLC was in Kaduna to protest against the planned mass sack of workers by the state government under the rightsizing exercise.
El-Rufai who stated this in a radio interview in Kaduna on Thursday night said, his government cannot continue to spend over 80 per cent of its income on payment of salaries.
The Nation had reported that, the labour movement commenced a five day warning strike in Kaduna State, during which supply of petroleum products, electricity and other social services were cut off from the State.
The protesting labour members were on the second day of the protest attacked at the popular NEPA roundabout and the protest was distrupted.
However, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity intervened on the third day by inviting the labour and the state government to negotiation table, a condition which made the labour leaders to suspend the strike.
Meanwhile, Governor El-Rufai in the Hausa radio chat said, his government was yet to lay off any worker under the rightsizing exercise, except for political appointees 99 of whom he has sacked.
He said it was easier to verify the documents and certificates of the political appointees, but he has to take his time to study those of the civil servants to avoid making any mistake.
According to him, “We know what happened, the NLC were paid from Abuja to come to Kaduna and protest and we know who gave them money, we will soon expose them.”
He said the NLC staged the protest without any concrete evidence that the state had retrenched public servants inappropriately.
“Everything the NLC said was a lie, the state government did not sack any civil servant. In fact as I speak to you now, the state government is screening the credentials of the over 30,000 civil servants in the state. It is based on that that we are going to releive those we find guilty of their employment.
“Some civil servant have fake certificates, some are using other people’s certificates. We are checking all that and when we finish we will do away with them. So what the NLC is saying about the state is wrong,” he said.
Governor El-Rufai however reiterated his threat to prosecute all those who participated in the NLC protest.