By Nurudeen Yisa, Kaduna
The five days warning strike organized by the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC) on behalf of Kaduna State workers kicked off today grounding all economic activities, even as the governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and NLC trade words
The striking workers turned out in their thousands chanting solidarity songs in a peaceful protest. Their procession started from the State Secretariat after they were addressed by the NLC National President, Ayuba Waba, through the popular Independence Way and proceeded to the State House of Assembly.
All banks and filling stations are under lock and key while the entire state is without electricity.
Governor el-Rufai in his reaction described the NLC action as a campaign of economic and social sabotage against the state. The governor in his official social media handles on Monday, accused the NLC of having no interest in public welfare even as he reminded the NLC that it went violent over the sack of teachers in 2017.
“KDSG affirms that the conditions that compel it to rightsize are not altered by the NLC’s campaign of economic and social sabotage. The NLC showed in 2017 that it has no interest in public welfare, going violent over 21,780 failed teachers who KDSG replaced with 25,000.”
However, NLC said it was misled in praising the Nasir El-Rufai administration for being the first to pay the new N30,000 minimum wage, even as it accused the governor of planning to infiltrate its protest with thugs.
NLC, in a statement by its Kaduna State Council Chairman, Ayuba Suleiman, said the state had since reverted to the old wage of N18, 000 for council workers.
It said 20,000 civil servants have been receiving half salaries of less than N18, 000.
The workers union said the state owed its members several allowances.
It condemned threats to arrest NLC President Ayuba Wabba. “We are calling the attention of the general public to the planned mobilisation of thugs by the state government to discredit our peaceful protest. We urge the people of Kaduna State to be vigilant and stand against this plan.
“We implore the general public to remain calm and peaceful throughout the five-day warning strike.
“We are assuring the Kaduna State workers and the general public of our commitment to maintaining peaceful strike action in their interest,” Suleiman said.