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El-Rufai stands ground against labour’s threat of strike, says ‘we will not succumb to cheap blackmail’



The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has called the bluff of organized labour by saying his government will not succumb to ‘cheap blackmail’ on the strike notice which has been called for tomorrow, May 17.

In a statement during a press conference on Saturday in Kaduna, El-Rufai who was represented by Head of Service, Bariatu Muhammed, described the threat by labour to embark on a strike over the refusal of the state government to follow laid down rules in the recent sacking of some civil servants as a futile gesture, warning that he would not condone any disruption of essential services in the state as a result of the strike.

According to the government, the trade unions planned to use hoodlums during the strike to disrupt the peace of the state and had notified security agencies to take action.

“As is appropriate, the security agencies have been notified of the plans of some trade unionists to recruit hoodlums, including from other states, to create a destructive spectacle and further their self-serving narrative about public service jobs and insecurity.

“The government has made it clear that it is not sustainable to persist in spending 84% to 96% of its FAAC receipts on salaries and personnel costs as has been the experience of the state since October 2020.

Read also: LongRead…El-Rufai: ‘Small’ man with big ‘wahala’. 10 times he stoked issues and left Nigerians wondering

“This government was not elected to devote most public funds to paying government workers and treat that as its defining governance mission, to the detriment of developing the state and its people. The government explained that the rightsizing of the public service would affect political appointees and civil servants.

“The necessary verification of credentials for full implementation of this painful but necessary decision is still being done. It has not determined the total number of officers that might be affected by the decision.

“The Kaduna State Government prefers to take lawful and rational steps that are within its powers to rightsize its personnel and thereby reduce its wage bill. We will not, therefore, succumb to the veritable campaign of lies and misrepresentation by the trade unions on the matter.”

By Isaac Dachen…

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