Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has backed out of a scheduled meeting between the federal government, state officials as well as officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) saying none of the state officials will attend the meeting.
The governor said he is yet to see evidence that the NLC is backing off from its campaign of economic and social sabotage against the people of the State.
Mr El-Rufai stated this on Wednesday in a statement signed by his media adviser Muyiwa Adekeye.
“The Kaduna State Government is yet to see evidence that the NLC is backing off from its campaign of economic and social sabotage against the people of the State,” the statement read.
“Electric power is yet to be restored, after it was shutdown at dawn on Sunday, 16th May 2021, in brazen violation of the laws protecting essential services and infrastructure.
“That action removed any basis for state government officials to meet the NLC last Sunday. Denying our people electricity about 18 hours to the advertised commencement of their organised sabotage was akin to putting a gun on the government’s head. Government has a lawful duty not to indulge blackmail.
“Restoring electricity is vital to relieving some of the pain that needless acts of lawlessness have inflicted on our people. The unimpeded provision of essential services is vital to civilised order.
“Those who have disrupted it should promptly reverse themselves, not expect that it will be a matter for negotiation, much less being viewed as a precondition. KDSG will not participate in such a negotiation or countenance one whilst our people are still being denied their right to electricity.”
The Nigerian Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Wednesday waded into the ongoing face-off between the northwestern Kaduna State government and labour unions by inviting both parties to a reconciliation meeting.
It’s been three days since the NLC started a demonstration resulting from the disengagement of more than seven thousand civil servants by the Kaduna State government.
Several sectors of the state’s critical economy have been paralysed following the protests with governor El-Rufai in reaction declaring the NLC president and other leaders wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure.
By Abel Ejikeme