El-Rufai ‘mobilises thugs to stop NLC strike in Kaduna’

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has accused Governor Nasir El-Rufai of plotting to cause chaos by using thugs to disrupt the union’s five-day warning strike.

A statement by the state NLC Chairman, Ayuba Suleiman, in Kaduna on Sunday said:

“We are calling the attention of the general public to the alleged planned mobilisation of thugs by the state government to discredit our peaceful protest of tomorrow.

“Hence, we advocate that the people of Kaduna state should be vigilant and stand against this plan.”

Accusing Mr El-Rufai of dishonesty regarding payment of the new minimum wage, the NLC stated, “Earlier, we were misled to commend the State Government for being the first state to implement N30, 000 minimum wage to both civil servants and the retirees.

“But however, we noted with dismay that the government reverted to the old minimum wage of N18,000 in April.”

It added about 20,000 state civil servants received half salary in April, “which is even less than the former N18,000 minimum wage.”

The union explained that Mr El-Rufai had denied health workers almost all allowances such as hazard, call duty, shifting and rural posting.

The NLC further noted that the governor did not pay the retirement benefits of 80 per cent of the 35,000 civil servants it disengaged in 2017.

“It’s sad for Kaduna state government to claim its commitment to training of workers while those that are qualified for promotion remain stagnant for years. On claims by the government of supporting civil servants to pay for houses through mortgages on a single-digit interest, this claim is false,” said the union.

It added, “The reality of this was that this mortgage was got by the joint effort of NLC and TUC. The state government, in its ignorance, failed to realise the obvious fact that payments of salaries have multiplying effects on the social welfare and economy. In other words, when salaries are paid, it reflects down the line.”

The NLC accused Mr El-Rufai of sacking over 50,000 workers from 2017 to date. These included over 21,000 teachers, 5,000 local government workers, 12,000 civil servants, and the recent sacking of over 7,000 local governments’ workers in April.

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