The national leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have jointly given Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai a seven-day ultimatum to stop further verification exercise in the state and also the perceived anti-labour exercises, or face a total shut down of activities in the state.
The aggrieved workers have also asked the governor to pay them their salaries, and desist from troubling them with what they perceive as anti-labour policies.
It could be recalled that Governor el-Rufai had been engaged in a running battle with the labour union over some government policies, which they have described as anti-people and capable of stifling workers in the state.
Though the el-Rufai government has defended its action, saying they wanted to fish out ghost workers and save funds for the state, workers feel the verifications are too many without any positive result, except suffering being experienced by workers.
In addition, the labour union also asked Governor el-Rufai to pay the backlog of salaries owed workers in the state or have the state shut down by organized labour unions and civil society organization .
NLC President Ayuba Waba and TUC President Bobboi Kaigama, who addressed workers in the state at the union’s secretariat, said they were prepared to fight el-Rufai to a standstill until he reversed all plans to deny civil servants of their right to remain members of the union.
According to Waba, NLC and TUC are prepared to mobilize workers, labour unions and civil society organizations to occupy Kaduna after the seven days ultimatum expires.
He said, any governor who does not believe in union and welfare of workers will be resisted and voted out come 2019.
“el-Rufai’s Mr. know-all attitude is responsible for some of the careless decisions he has taken in recent times”, Waba stated.
Also the TUC President, Kaigama said it is high time El-Rufai was reminded that workers voted him into office as governor and when the time comes they will take necessary action.
Kaigama said the governor came into power as a result of President Muhammadu Buhari’s influence; so, he might not understand the importance of workers, “but we would make him realise that, if he remains adamant.”
He boasted that failure to pay workers their salaries between today and the expiration date of the 7 days ultimatum given will leave labour with no option than to shut Kaduna down.
Talking about the plight of the families of those who died in the Zaria bomb blast during the first verification exercise in the state, Waba said el-Rufai’s government must compensate families of the workers immediately.
” We gathered that el-Rufai promised to compensate families of the victims of the bomb blast, but as we talk, nothing has been done. This shows that he’s insensitive as a leader “.
Workers who had gathered to support their leaders and show their anger at the union’s secretariat were seen chanting solidarity songs making snide comments like
” Enough of Intimidation”, “El-Rufai, Pay Us Our Salaries ”