By Lawal A. Dogara, Kaduna
The Chairman, Kaduna State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Adamu Ango has accused the Kaduna State Government of deploying its usual tactics of blackmail in an attempt to underscore the successes recorded by the peaceful rally organized by the group in protest against Governor Nasiru el-Rufai’s anticipated sacking of 21,000 teachers in the state.
This assertion was contained in a two page document signed by the Chairman, NLC (Kaduna chapter), and issued to journalists by the group in Kaduna.
“The allusion to violence on the part of our members is a deliberate attempt by the Kaduna State Government to deploy its usual tactics of blackmail which is now known to all and sundry,”Ango has said.
He added that, “The outdated strategy of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it will not work in the circumstance, as the Labour Movement cannot be cowed and will indeed deploy all lawful and legitimate arsenals as its disposal to resist the unholy attempt to impose the will of an individual against the consensus of an overwhelming majority of Kaduna State citizens (members of the Labour Movement).
“The Kaduna state government as usual, instead of addressing the core issues relative to the impasse between it and the labour movement has resorted to crude propaganda and diversionary tactics by trying to depict a rally organized and attended by the leadership of the entire labour movement in Nigeria as an agitation by 21,000 unqualified teachers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the rally held in Kaduna on 8th November, 2017 was peaceful and same was held in exercise of our members constitutional rights as guaranteed under section 35(1) and 40 of the 1999 constitution which is the grundnorm and all other laws drives their potency there from. Fortunately, in Kaduna State, similar rights have been exercised in support of the state government’s decision to take external loan without let or hindrance,” he lamented.
Ango reprimanded Governor El-rufai for not heeding to NLC advice.According to him, recent events in the educational sector have vindicated the labour movement whose advice to government to utilize the over N10billion expended in the school feeding programme in the development of infrastructures and teachers education,retraining was ignored.
NLC added that that the events at the Kaduna state House of Assembly after the rally by the Labour Movement cannot be attributed to the NLC, and same is a replica of the sad events at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, secretariat, Kaduna where supporters of the state government openly attacked law abiding citizens who were there to address a press conference and unfortunately nobody has been prosecuted or is being prosecuted for their participation in the dastardly act.
Ango said that the demonstration staged on the streets of Kaduna by pupils in public schools was not orchestrated by the Labour Movement. “We therefore affirm that, the Labour Movement will never be intimidated and it will indeed continue to play its historical role of the conscience of society and protector of workers’ rights using all means available to its within the confines of the law.”