Wabba Leads Day Three Of NLC Protest In Kaduna

Workers gathered at the NLC Secretariat in Kaduna for Day three of their protest

 

The National Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ayuba Wabba on Wednesday led the third-day protest in Kaduna State.

The protest started on Monday following the disengagement of over seven thousand civil servants at the state and local governments by the Kaduna State government.

The strike has paralysed critical sectors of the economy in the state and the state governor Nasir El-Rufai in reaction declared the NLC Chairman and other leaders wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure in Kaduna State under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

Despite this, the workers again gathered on Wednesday morning at the state NLC secretariat amidst heavy security chanting songs of solidarity.

READ ALSO: El-Rufai Lacks Power To Declare NLC Chairman Wanted – Falana

The protest was done amid heavy security due to an earlier attack on the workers by armed thugs who hurled stones at them and injured many.

The NLC President insists that the protest must go on despite the attack on the workers the thugs.

According to him, the protest is backed by the constitution which guarantees the workers the right to freedom of expression and movement.

The NLC Chairman earlier on Tuesday accused the state governor El-Rufai of sponsoring thugs to disrupt the protest.

Wabba said he informed the DSS after he received earlier information of the plan to disrupt the protest.

“Today is a very sad moment in the history of democracy in Nigeria. Early in the morning today, we got credible information that El-Rufai has hired one Alhaji Hassan and some thugs to come and attack us.

“While we are here, they came but thank God we have chased them away because we have the number. We are not thugs And We Are Not Using Thugs we are Nigerian workers,” Wabba told Channels Television on Tuesday.

Armed Thugs Disrupt NLC Protest In Kaduna, Wabba Accuses El-Rufai

NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba addressing journalists during the Day 2 of NLC Protest in Kaduna State

 

The protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress on Tuesday turned violent as armed thugs attacked the workers, throwing stones at them.

The workers had converged at the popular NEPA roundabout in the Kaduna capital city to continue the day two of their protest when the thugs invaded the area and started throwing stones and other dangerous weapons at them.

The attack forced many of the protesters to scamper for safety.

It is not known who actually sent the thugs, but the NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba has pointed accusing fingers at the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Governors’ Forum Calls For Calm As Labour, Kaduna Govt Disagree

Speaking with Channels Television amid the protest, Wabba said he informed the DSS after he received earlier information of the plan to disrupt the protest.

“Today is a very sad moment in the history of democracy in Nigeria. Early in the morning today, we got credible information that El-Rufai has hired one Alhaji Hassan and some thugs to come and attack us.

“While we are here, they came but thank God we have chased them away because we have the number. We are not thugs And We Are Not Using Thugs we are Nigerian workers,” Wabba told Channels Television.

The armed thugs were dispersed by security operatives with teargas.

Wabba is leading day two of the NLC protest despite being declared wanted by the Kaduna State government.

‘They Are Sabotaging Economic Activities Of Kaduna State,’ Govt Condemns NLC Protest

National NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba leads workers during the protest in Kaduna.

 

Kaduna State government has reacted to the Nigeria Labour (NLC) protest which has resulted in a power outage, shut down of the airport, and fuel queues in various parts of the state.

In reaction to the protest, the Head of Service in Kaduna State, Baritu Mohammed told Channels Television that the protesting workers are sabotaging economic activities in the state.

She added that the Kaduna State government will not hesitate to use Trade Union Act which prohibits strike by essential workers against the protesters.

“What is happening now in Kaduna is not an industrial action but a campaign of social and economic sabotage. Kaduna State government is functioning despite illegal attempts to lock our offices, hospitals, and schools. The schools are opened, our offices and hospitals are opened.

“NLC is aware that inflicting pain on citizens, locking hospitals and public institutions, shutting down electricity will not change or affect the decision of Kaduna State government.

“It will not change the intention of the Kaduna State government to use Trade Union Act which prohibits strike by essential workers,” Mohammed said.

The HoS also claimed that NLC leadership are forcing workers to join the protest noting that some fuel stations were threatened by the NLC Leadership.

Meanwhile, National NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba, during the protest, said due process was not observed in the recent disengagement of the workers from the Local Government Service, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and Primary Health Care Agency.

He added that all the unions including Student Unions and pensioners are part of the protest as they are all directly affected by the disengagement of workers.

In solidarity with the protest by the NLC, aviation workers have shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA).

The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), said the airport would remain shut for the period of the warning strike.

Kaduna Airport Shut, Fuel Queues Surface As NLC Protests Sack Of Members

 

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday morning gathered in Kaduna to protest the recent disengagement of over seven thousand civil servants at the state and local governments by the state government.

In solidarity with the protest by the NLC, aviation workers have shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA) effective Sunday midnight.

The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), said the airport would remain shut for the period of the warning strike.

National NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba, during the protest, said due process was not observed in the recent disengagement of the workers from the Local Government Service, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and Primary Health Care Agency.

Workers protest in Kaduna State

 

He said further that all the unions including Student Unions and pensioners are part of the protest as they are all directly affected by the disengagement of workers.

“All those that are here today are those that are directly affected. The students are here. The children of those workers that have been thrown out of their job and were not been paid, they are here with us.

“The pensioners that were not being paid are here with us. They claim that local government employees were consulted. The Local Government Employees are here today, they have issued a statement to say that statement was false.

“All leadership of public sector unions are here.

“It is only Kaduna State of all the 36 states of the Federation that threw workers out of their jobs without,” the NLC Chairman said.

Other affiliate unions including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union Of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria are also participating in the protest.

Meanwhile, earlier on Sunday long queues surfaces at petrol stations in various parts of Kaduna State, especially in the metropolis and other surrounding towns.

Motorists besieged filling stations in what can be described as panic buying of fuel ahead of the planned industrial action by the NLC and its affiliate unions in the state.

Imo State Recalls Suspended Workers To End Protests

NLC-Protest-IN-ImoThe Imo State government has recalled workers it suspended in 19 parastatals in the state, ending the disagreement between the government and labour unions on the issue.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after a meeting between the State government officials and some leaders of the labour unions.

Signed Agreement

In an agreement signed after talks by the ‘Committee on Joint Government-Labour Negotiation in Imo State’, an immediate recall of all suspended workers of Imo State was recommended, “notwithstanding that the parastatals in the opinion of Government should have been more productive”.

One of the other clauses in the agreement is that the gross revenue of the Government from all sources would be verified every month by the joint committee  of Government and Labour.

The agreement read: “That the Government will retain and run all its  affairs with not more than 30% of the verified revenue for the month, while the committee will apply the balance of 70% in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.

“Negotiations will continue with a view to fully accessing the wage bill of every Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) and to determine the funding modalities of parastatals within the agreed percentage sharing framework.

“That a comprehensive agreement will be reached by both parties”.

Both parties were also of the opinion that at a quarterly interval, the position in Imo State on the critical areas would be reviewed and compliance ensured and that all revenue subheads for the month would be fully disclosed by the office of the Accountant General to select Committee of Labour.

It was also agreed that no public servant would be victimised in way as a result of the actions or in-actions leading up to this dispute and these resolutions

The agreement was signed by some government officials, led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Technical matters, Honourable Emeh Ikenna, and some leaders of the labour unions’ led by the chairman of the NLC in Imo State, Comrade Austin Chilakpu

Before the suspension was reversed, members of the NLC from the 36 states of the federation led by the National President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, had converged on Owerri, the capital of Imo State to hold a protest and force the state to reverse its decision.

The protest was held to express their displeasure over the Concession Policy by the state government and the suspension of some workers.

Imo-State-NLC-Protest
Officials of the Imo State Government and the leader of the All Progressives Congress addressing the labour union after talks held to resolve the issues

All activities at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri and other government offices under the NLC were shutdown to effect the compliance of the protest.

‘Indolent And Redundant Workers’

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, had earlier met with the Governor over the issues raised by the union to seek ways of resolving it.

Addressing reporters at the Government House, Mr Oyegun appealed to labour to cooperate with the Okorocha-led administration, which he said meant well for the people of the state.

He said that after his meeting with the Governor, he was convinced that the actions by the state government were in the overall interest of the state, urging both parties to demonstrate flexibility in their dialogue, considering the new economic realities on ground.

The State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, also told reporters that the protest by labour was uncalled for and politically motivated, as the decision taken by the state government was not for any personal gain but to sanitise the civil service and ensure that the civil service and public service in the state were more productive, efficient and effective.

“The government cannot continue to borrow to pay salaries of indolent and redundant workers putting into consideration the present economic situation in the country,” Governor Okorocha stressed.