There is a new twist in the ongoing protest in Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna State. Governor El-Rufai has authorised the state’s Ministry of Health to relieve all nurses below Grade Level 14 for embarking on an unlawful strike.
The governor also claims to have reports that suggest three nurses from the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital disconnected the oxygen supply of a two-day-old baby in an incubator on Monday.
According to Mr El-Rufai, “the names of the three nurses from the Special Baby Care Unit (SBCU) who were involved in this despicable act have been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for attempted murder or murder in the event we lose the baby”.
Mr El-Rufai has also warned that academic staff of the state-owned university (Kaduna State University) that does not report for work will be dismissed.
He again declared Ayuba Wabba, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress and other labour leaders wanted, assuring that they will be “vigorously prosecuted for violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, the Miscellaneous Offences and the Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Acts”.
The governor took the decisions on Tuesday in a statement signed by Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication).
The statement read in part, “the Ministry of Health will dismiss all nurses below GL 14 for going on an unlawful strike. Salaries that could have gone to them are to be given as extraordinary occupational allowances to the health workers who are at their duty posts to fill the gap of those absconding from duty.
“The Ministry of Health has been directed to advertise vacancies for the immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed
“Any academic staff of KASU that does not report for work will be dismissed. The authorities of KASU are to submit a copy of the attendance register for all categories of staff daily to the Secretary to the State Government and the Commissioner of Education
“All MDAs are also to submit daily copies of attendance register to the Head of Service
“Ayuba Wabba and his senior confederates in the NLC are declared wanted, and will be vigorously prosecuted for violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, the Miscellaneous Offences and the Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Acts. They are advised to report to the Ministry of Justice and the Police Headquarters to take their statements.”
The governor described the protests by organised labour and led by the president Mr Wabba as a campaign of economic and social sabotage and lawlessness.
The statement also noted that the state government “considers as unacceptable the serial violations of the Miscellaneous Offences Act and the Trade Union Act that have occurred over the last two days. The state government commends citizens for remaining calm amidst this assault on their rights and comfort and their businesses”.
By Abel Ejikeme