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Nigeria: Rights Group Threatens Legal Action Against Kaduna Governor El-Rufai Over Intimidation of Labour Leaders

A non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) is threatening to take legal action against Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and the state government if authorities in the state

A non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) is threatening to take legal action against Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and the state government if authorities in the state don’t stop the intimidation of labour leaders.

The legal and advocacy organisation is also demanding the Kaduna state government withdraw an earlier published statement declaring Mr Ayuba Wabba (the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress) and other NLC leaders wanted.

Following the ongoing protest by workers in the northwestern state, and led by the NLC, Mr El-Rufai had insisted that the NLC President, Mr Wabba, is a fugitive, promising a “handsome reward” for anyone that provides information on his whereabouts.

The Governor had tweeted: “KADUNA UPDATE: Ayuba Wabba & others of @NLCHeadquarters declared wanted for economic sabotage & attacks on public infrastructure under Miscellaneous Offences Act. Anyone that knows where he is hiding should send a message to @MOJKaduna KDSG.
“There will be a handsome reward!.”

 

 

But in a swift reaction, SERAP also wrote on Twitter, “We urge @elrufai and Kaduna state authorities to end the harassment and intimidation of NLC leaders and to withdraw the illegal statement declaring Mr Wabba and other NLC leaders ‘wanted’.
“We’ll take legal action if @GovKaduna continues to violate workers’ human rights. Kaduna authorities must respect the human rights of Nigerian workers, and the safety and security of the leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress.

 

“Declaring NLC leaders ‘wanted’ simply for peacefully exercising their human rights is antithetical to the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international obligations.”

 

Mr Wabba and other protesters are on a five-day demonstration in Kaduna to challenge the State Government’s plan to sack hundreds of its workers.
Mr El-Rufai says the Kaduna state government needs to “rightsize” its workforce as civil servants alone gulp over 90 per cent of the federal allocations to the state.

 

By Abel Ejikeme

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