El Rufai
El Rufai

PRESIDENT, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba has accused the Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufa’i of taking steps to get a court warrant to arrest all labour leaders in the state following the recent protest that engulf the state as a result of the sack of over 21,000 teachers by the governor. Addressing journalist in Abuja at the end of the Congress, National Executive Council, NEC meeting, Wabba said in accordance with the principles of the rule of law and due process, the court has no jurisdiction over Labour and industrial relations matters especially in the issues concerning the Kaduna state government and teachers mass sack. “NEC Is disturbed and wish to use this medium to condemn in strong terms the information we have from
Kaduna state, that the government have sought to get a court process from a magistrate court to arrest all Labour leaders in Kaduna. “NEC has observed that his is in tandem with the principles of the rule of law and due process. The said court also has no jurisdiction over Labour and industrial relations matters especially the issues in dispute in Kaduna, which is related to mass sack of workers.” He said. The NLC President while condemning the governor’s move described the approach as undemocratic noting that it negates the principles of freedom of Association. “While condemning this in a very strong term, NEC thought this approach is undemocratic and negates the principles of freedom of Association. NEC note that the court processes lack transparency and fair hearing because the issues have not been brought to those that have been alleged. “Therefore, NEC wants to put on notice that such approach will not address the challenges at hand. In fact, such approaches have contributed to where we are and therefore, NEC strongly feel that this is another attempt to undermine workers and trade union rights. “It is clearly a violation of the fundamental principle of the right of workers at work, in violation of the fundamental principle of convention 87 and 98 which Nigeria has ratified since 1960. Wabba strongly warned that in a situation where the state government fails to desist from the move to intimidate the unionist, the leadership of the union across the country will not hesitate to set aside a day to protest in Kaduna state in solidarity for the attack on it members. “Therefore, NEC has resolved that where this happens and workers and
their unions are being intimidated, the leadership and all our unions across the country should symbolically set aside one day to protest and support the entire workers of Kaduna state who are under this attack. “We have seen that there has been an increase in the violation of workers right and trade union rights and this is very fundamental because the right of a worker and citizens to freely Assembly and advance their interest is something that the Nigerian constitution have recognized and given effect. “Therefore, those processes must continue to be respected for us to have a peaceful industrial relation.” Wabba said. Nigerian Pilot Weekend recalls that NLC recently staged a protest in the state over government’s move to sack over 21,000 teachers for allegedly failing a competency test carried out on them by the state government.

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