By Chimezie Godfrey
The Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) has condemned the massive sack of workers by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Ezenwa Nwagwu, Executive Director, Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa- PAACA made this known in a statement on Wednesday.
Nwagwu decried the sack of 7 thousand of Kaduna state by El-Rufai adding that the action is uncharitable and irrational.
He said,”We hereby condemn the recent decision of the kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufia, to abruptly sack an alarming 7 thousand working staff of its state. An action we consider uncharitable, irrational, and insensitive, especially at a time when Nigerians in all states, are battling with harsh economic realities coupled with hunger, insecurity, unemployment and poor governance.
“The state’s intention to cut back on expenses in other to meet its financial obligations to the good people of Kaduna is highly commendable, but to do that at the expense of the ordinary Nigerians whose income can only do so much for them and their families, can be considered cruel and therefore unacceptable.
“For years, Nigerians have lamented the high cost of governance and bogus salaries and allowances paid to political officials in all regions, including Kaduna state, calling for a downward review.
“However, this reasonable call was met with stiff resistance from the political class, living the masses to suffer, with majority of them living off a paltry sum as minimum wage, monthly, without the availability of other sources of income, since government remains the major employer in the state and country at large.
“In other to save the state some cash, the government have failed to understand the devastating effect this decision could have on the lives of families heavily dependent on these sacked workers, the psychological trauma of being disengaged from what was meant to be a secured and pensionable job, and moreso, at a time when cost of living is at its peak and food crises is spiking.
“These dismissed workers do not even have the option of farming, for the fear of kidnappers and herders attack, which would have provided some relieve for many.”
Nwagwu stressed that if the government is unable to boost employment or create job opportunities, at least, it should not take employment away from its people who are already burdened with the impact of insecurity.
The PAACA Executive Director who commended the NLC for their demand for justice urged El-Rufai to reconsider his decision and stop threatening Kaduna state workers.
“While we commend the Nigerian Labour congress and all its affiliate unions for their massive support and demand for justice, we urge the governor of kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El Rufia to apply human face and consider the predicaments of the average Nigerians in his state, to convene his think tanks to fashion out a better alternative for improving the earnings of the state and cutting back unnecessary cost of governance, without threatening the already stretched Kaduna state workers.
“We wish to also call on other states to be proactive in researching alternative ways of improving state earnings and encouraging new businesses that will provide employment opportunities for their indigenes, to avoid the temptation to strangulate its poor and disadvantaged employees,” Nwagwu stressed.