NEWS

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has approved the disengagement of 19 political appointees.

In a statement on Wednesday by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the governor, Muyiwa Adekeye, in Kaduna, announced this is the first phase of political appointees to depart the public service during the current rightsizing exercise.

El-Rufai had received knocks for disengaging thousands of civil servants in his rightsizing policy.

The government had defended its policy by saying it would not continue to pay over 80 percent of its allocation from the Federation account to civil servants and assured that the political appointees will also be affected in the exercise.

Among those disengaged by the state government day disengaged are a Deputy Chief of Staff and two special advisers.

El-Rufai thanked the departing officials for their services to the state and wished them well in their future endeavours.

According to the statement, those affected also included Deputy Chief of Legislative Staff (DCOSL), Bala Yunusa Mohammed; Special Assistant to DCOSL, Halima Musa Nagogo, and another Special Assistant to DCOSL, Umar Abubakar.

The statement further said that Ben Kure, Special Adviser Political; Mustapha Lynda Nyusha and Jamilu Gwarzala Dan Mutum, Special Assistants to the Special Adviser Political will also exit the service, including Umar Haruna, a Special Assistant Political.

The list of those affected also included Special Adviser Social Development Zainab Shehu; Special Assistant to the Special Adviser, Stephen Hezron and Mohammed Bello Shuaibu, Senior Special Assistant Stakeholders Relations, as well as Senior Special Assistant on Youth, Aliyu Haruna.

Also on the list are Halima Idris, Special Assistant Creative Arts; Engr Aliyu Alhaji Salihu, Director General of Public Procurement Authority, Special Assistant Community Relations Ashiru Zuntu and Saida Sa’ad, a Senior Special Assistant.

According to the statement, Special Assistant Programmes, Elias Yahaya and Special Assistant to the Secretary to Kaduna State Government, Tasiu Suleiman Yakaii are on the list, Daily Trust reported.

The Special Assistant on Economic Matters, Samuel Hadwayah and Senior Special Assistant Environment, Ahmed Mohammed Gero, were also sacked.

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai has approved the disengagement of 19 political appointees.

This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, on Wednesday in Kaduna.

Adekeye said el-Rufai thanked the appointees for their service to the state and wished them well in their future endeavours.

Recall that the governor had announced his plan to disengage some public servants in the state for fiscal reasons.

He had said a significant amount of the statutory federal allocations is being spent on the wages of public servants monthly.

The disengaged appointees are Bala Mohammed, Deputy Chief of Staff Legislative; Halima Nagogo, Special Assistant; Umar Abubakar, Special Assistant; Ben S. D. Kure, Special Adviser Political; Mustapha Nyusha and Jamilu Dan-Mutum.

Others are Umar Haruna, Special Assistant Political; Zainab Shehu, Special Adviser Social Development; Stephen Hezron, Special Assistant to SAD SD; Mohammed Shuaibu, SSA Stakeholder Relations; Aliyu Haruna, SSA Youth; Halima Idris, SA Creative Arts.

The rest are Aliyu Salihu, DG Public Procurement Authority; Ashiru Zuntu, SA Community Relations; Saida Sa’ad, SSA; Elias Yahaya, SA Programmes; Tasiu Suleiman Yakaji, SA to SSG; Samuel Hadwayah, SA Economic Matters; and Ahmed Mohammed Gero, SSA Environment.

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has vowed that his administration would not honour a meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress unless electricity is restored in his state.

The governor also lambasted the Federal Government for allowing workers of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) owned by it to disrupt electricity supply to his state.

El-Rufai made the comment after the NLC announced a suspension of a five-day warning strike called to protest the Kaduna government’s plans to lay off some of its civil servants due to what it blamed on a severe fiscal crisis.

The NLC suspended the industrial action after the intervention of the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, who requested parties to sheathe swords for a Federal government-mediated negotiation to hold in Abuja.

But shortly after the NLC announced it was suspending the strike to enable it to honour the planned Abuja meeting, a defiant El-Rufai issued a statement that said no official of his government would negotiate with the unions unless electricity is restored in the state.

The National Union of Electricity Employees is an affiliate of the NLC and its members had on Sunday switched off electricity supply in the state and joined the strike.

El-Rufai in a statement early Thursday morning, said, “No official of Kaduna State will go to Abuja for any meeting with Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) or NLC when the citizens of the State have no electricity”.

The governor noted that we hold the FGN responsible for (its) inability to assert its ownership rights over TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria). No electricity, no meeting, Premium times reported.

Hours before his latest update, the state government had said it was yet to see evidence “that the NLC is backing off from its campaign of economic and social sabotage against the people of the State.

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – In respect to the recent happenings in Kaduna state and the threats from the Government, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), wishes to issue the following statements with particular reference to the accusation of our members of discharging patients from the hospital and removing oxygen from a two-day old baby.

That the NANNM is an affiliate of NLC, and as such the Kaduna State Council is actively participating in the ongoing strike action as directed by her national body.

In a statement by the Chairman of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) Kaduna chapter, Ishaku Yakubu, said no member of the association in Kaduna state has ever either in the past or present discharged any patient during any union action and even in the present allegation of discharge of patients in Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital (BDTH), the nurses did not discharge any patient. The patients left on their own considering the fact that services were withdrawn.

“The accusation of our members removing oxygen from a Two-day old baby is unfounded and misleading to the public. The investigations carried out by the union have revealed how the nurse on duty helped to plead with the generator plant technician to allow the light in the hospital as a patient was on oxygen and to allow for the transfer of the same patient in the morning as the strike was to start midnight of 15th May 2021. Contrary to the allegations and false statements the nurse went extra miles to ensure the safety of the child and other patients, as it is known of nurses.

“Investigations carried out by the association also revealed that the baby is alive and doing well in one of the private facilities in Kaduna town. Videos of the interview with the mother of the baby and of the private hospital is available and will be made available to the media. The union shall take a decisive action against the perpetrators of this malicious and incisive allegations. 

“We wish to tell Nigerians that image of the nurse has been battered and these allegations are aimed at further discrediting and tarnishing the image and reputation of the nurses and the nursing profession, this is rather unfortunate and we wish to call on everyone to disregard this malicious and unfounded allegations. 

“That the mass sack of nurses in Kaduna state from level 14 below is aimed at dividing the nurses and playing the “divide and rule” game. All nurses are part of this action as well as other health professionals, why single out nurses if not an attempt to divide the unity we share. More so, this is to strike fear among nurses to have them resume work knowing fully well that we constitute the majority of the work force in the health sector. This attempt will fail as we are together and not moved by these threats. As far as NANNM is concerned, no nurse has been sacked in Kaduna state as the rules of disengagement has not been followed which is part of the reasons for this industrial action”, the association explained. 

NANNM further said: We call on the Kaduna state government to conserve the energy they are using now to fight nurses and use same to secure the release of two of our nurses which are in the hands of kidnappers for the past 30 days. They were taken at their duty post as government workers and the kidnappers are making huge demand as ransom.

The association want to assure the citizens of the state that we are committed to the provision of health care services to the public and to ensure they get the best but when the work force is unfairly treated then the best cannot be achieved. We solicit for their prayers and understanding during this period, the almighty will help us all.

It was reported on Tuesday that the Kaduna State government alleged some nurses of Barau Dikko Hospital disconnected the oxygen supply of a two-day old baby in an incubator to protest in the state. And the names of the three nurses involved have been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has vowed that Comrade Ayuba Wabba and other labour leaders will never return to Kaduna by the time his government is done with them.

The protest of the organised labour in Kaduna is in its third day.

Governor El-Rufai, who stated this while addressing the 23rd Annual Tax Conference organised by the The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) in Kaduna on Wednesday, described the labour leaders as “criminals”.

He said actions of the labour union under the auspices of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which prevented businesses like banks, petrol stations and others from opening is criminal, illegal and the government will deal with “the criminals”.

The Governor pointed out that his government was not against the right of workers to embark on strike, but such workers must walk out of their work place and allow it to function without them.

While he emphasized that workers or their unions do not have the right to stop any business or government establishment from opening, El-Rufai said those responsible for such were liable to be convicted on the Miscellaneous Offences Act, which attracts a minimum penalty of 21 years imprisonment.

He then apologised to the gathering on any inconvenience suffered due to the strike, saying, “All those that have broken the law to the fullest extent will never come back to the state again by the time we are done with them.”

According to him, “There are efforts to prevent legitimate business to open, there are efforts to prevent banks from opening and also preventing petrol stations from dispensing fuel, this is totally criminal and illegal and we are going to take action.

“We are making efforts to provide security for all businesses that will wish to remain open.

“We are not against the right to strike, you are free to strike, but walk away from your institution and allow it to function without you.

“You have no right to stop any business from remaining open and we are going to take very strict measures against people that have tried to do that.

“What this strike is about is to answer fundamental questions, the first of which is this; should an employer, keep person of poor education, inadequate skills, qualifications and bad work attitude in employment, whether he likes it or not? Our answer in Kaduna state is in the negative.

“We, as the employer, are in a contract of employment with the employee and if he is not up to scratch, we will let him go and that is included in our contact of service.

“The second question is this, is the right to protest or to withdraw your services of an employee equivalent to the right to destroy the institution in which you work; shut it down or attack public infrastructure?

“Our position is very clear, law is very clear, you can walk out, you can strike, but you cannot shut anything down.

“Public infrastructure is a public asset belonging to the federation which belongs to all the people in Nigeria and you have no right to shut it down and if you do, you are liable to be convicted on either the Miscellaneous Offences Act which attracts a minimum penalty of 21 years imprisonment.”

According to him, “I want to assure you that we will break the strike and deal with the criminals, prosecute all those that have broken the law to the fullest extent and I assure you that they will never come back to the state again by the time we are done with them.”

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers on Tuesday said it might declare a nationwide industrial action following the ongoing face-off between the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Kaduna State Government.

NUPENG, in a statement jointly signed by its National President, Williams Akporeha, and General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, said its members to be on red alert over the attack on NLC peaceful protest in Kaduna State.

The union warned that if any harm was inflicted on any of the members of the organised labour, the leadership of the union would not hesitate to call on all its members throughout the nation for a total shut down of all services in the upstream, mid-stream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

“In the light of the above, we are therefore putting all NUPENG members nationwide on red alert and may at very short notice of five hours call for a nationwide industrial action if situation arises.

“Our solidarity remains constant for the union makes us strong”, it noted.

NUPENG said its national leadership was deeply saddened with the violent turn of NLC peaceful protests by the ‘dictatorial and despotic regime of Governor Nasir el-Rufai in Kaduna State’.

“The leadership of the union is therefore calling on the Federal Government to immediately call on Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, to order before his arrogance and power drunk ego further push the situation into horrendous calamity as he has been doing in all issues relating to human lives and wellbeing.

“Consequently, the union reiterates that no labour leader or worker as the case may be, be harmed, harassed, maimed, humiliated or victimised during this five-day peaceful protests in the state” it added.

The union said it was raising the alarm following the very reliable report of the clandestine move of el-Rufai to hurt and put the lives of NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and other labour leaders in danger in his usual blind egotistical style of running government in the state, Punch reported.

The NLC is currently protesting against the mass sacking of workers by the Kaduna State Government, a move that was vehemently opposed by the state governor.


NEWS NEWSMAN INVESTIGATES

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Following the ongoing scuffle between the Kaduna State Government and Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, some Nigerians have taken to social media to air their views.

Recall that the NLC, on Monday, declared five days warning strike following the sack of workers in the State, allegedly without following due process.

NLC also shut down the power supply in the State, rail and air operations, as well as other commercial activities.

Following the development, it was gathered that the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai declared the NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba wanted over the alleged economic sabotage and attack on public infrastructure under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

Also, the Governor ordered the sack of all nurses below level 14 under the state government.

El-Rufai in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye said “Apart from the nurses involved to the Ministry of Justice, all nurses below Grade Level 14 have been sacked”.

Reacting, some Nigerians who didn’t seem pleased with the ongoing tussle in Kaduna took to social media to slam Governor El-Rufai.

While some said he’s not ashamed to display his tyranny in full glare, others said the idea of him becoming the next Nigerian President cannot be nursed.

They said should that happen, people will be begging Buhari to come back.

“I shudder to think of the idea of El Rufai as president. By the end of his first year, people will be begging Buhari to please come back”, @Ayosogunro stated.

@Sylviabaibee, “I can’t believe that anybody can be worse than Buhari”.

@Daddymo, “And that won’t be surprising because many Nigerians suffer from mild to severe amnesia, depending on what part of the country you find yourself in”.

“El-Rufai seems to me like someone who reads 48 Laws of power every morning and tries very hard to replicate everything he sees therein. He has the mind of a child”.

@Malachyodo tweeted.

@Ayemojubar, “El-rufai refused to negotiate with bandits to free those his incompetence couldn’t secure, but placing a bounty on Ayuba Wabba and other NLC members for leading Kaduna workers on peaceful protest.That’s full-fledged insanity”.

@Abdulbasit, “El Rufai called President GEJ; Drunkard, fisherman, clueless and all sorts of unprintable names, but today you are angered that protesters are calling Kaduna Governor ‘Hell Rufai”.

@Ayodele, “What has gone over Mal.El-Rufai? His declaration of Com.Wabba wanted is unbecoming of an executive Governor.This is a deliberate attempt to stifle the NLC.The body possess the right to raise voice against unfriendly policy of the Government against workers”.

@Bruceesther, “If Ayuba Wabba gets arrested, the strike should be nationwide.No man has monopoly of violence.El rufai the failure”.

“A lecturer and activist Dadiyata got kidnapped in Kaduna since August 2019, El Rufai has not declared a search for him nor has he charged the police to officially search for him.But same Elrufai is quick to declare Labor leaders wanted over protest”.

@Somtoonuchukwu tweeted.

@Umarhassan, “El-Rufai called Chidi Odinkalu a liar for telling the world public schools,hospitals etc in Kaduna were shut..But then in his typically insane response to issues like this,he goes on to sack nurses & lecturers in Kaduna for joining the strike.Where is the lie?”

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Human Rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has slammed Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, for declaring President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba and other union leaders wanted.

The labour had on Monday, embarked on a five-day warning strike to protest the sack of some local government workers by the state government. The strike has paralysed critical sectors of the economy in the state.

In it’s response, the Kaduna State government declared Wabba and other NLC leaders wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure in Kaduna State under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

Reacting to El-Rufai’s declaration, Falana described as ‘laughable’ the claim that the labour leaders contravened the provisions of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

“The statement is laughable as it is common knowledge that Comrade Wabba and his colleagues are on the streets of Kaduna leading the peaceful protests embarked upon by the entire workers in the State since yesterday. The order of the Governor cannot be enforced for the following reasons:

“1. By the combined effect of the Trade Union Act and the Nigerian Constitution, Comrade Wabba and other labour leaders have the unquestionable rights to participate in the peaceful warning strike and mass protests against further retrenchment of workers in the Kaduna State public service.

“2. The Miscellaneous Offences Act is not a state statute but a federal enactment. To that extent, if Governor El Rufai has evidence that Comrade Wabba and other labour leaders have contravened any provisions of the Act he is required to lodge a complaint in any of the police stations in Kaduna State. The Governor lacks the power to declare any alleged offender wanted under the Act or any other law whatsoever.

“3. Furthermore, since Comrade Wabba and other labour leaders are entitled to the fundamental right of fair hearing including the presumption of innocence guaranteed by section 36 of the Constitution the Governor of Kaduna lacks the power to declare them wanted.”

Falana, therefore, called on the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to ignore the “illegal statement” by Governor El Rufai.

Meanwhile, Wabba has responded to governor El-Rufai’s threat saying, “let him come and arrest me. it is not about me. We are here and waiting for them.”

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has ordered the Ministry of Health to compile names of nurses below grade level 14 who participated or participating in the ongoing strike action embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for dismissal.

“Reports from Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital disclosed that some identified nurses disconnected the oxygen supply of a two-day old baby in an incubator on Monday, 17th May 2021,” El-Rufai said.

“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.”

He said any academic staff of the Kaduna State University who fails to report for work will also be dismissed.

This is just as the action of the NLC is being viewed by the State Government as equivalent to that of bandits.

El-Rufai’s order was contained in a statement by his media aide Muyiwa Adekeye.

According to the statement, “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,” Adekeye said.

“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;

“KDSG views the actions of the NLC as equivalent to the actions of the bandits kidnapping and menacing our citizens. Bandits illegally use arms, but the NLC is deploying mob action for exactly the same ends: trying to hold hostage the freedoms, economic interests, livelihoods and resources of the people of Kaduna State. It is a vain expectation that this government will respond differently to sets of unlawful actions that have the same ends.”

The statement also said the Kaduna State government will not tolerate criminal acts disguised as industrial action by the NLC.

“Today, the Kaduna State Government reviewed the sundry criminal actions that have defined the campaign of economic and social sabotage and lawlessness waged by the NLC.

“KDSG 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.

“However, KDSG cannot be expected to tolerate the brazen shutdown of electricity, attack on public infrastructure and buildings, locking up hospitals and forcefully discharging patients, unlawful trespass into public facilities and the wanton use of coercion and restraints of personal freedom by the NLC.

“Efforts to dress up criminal activity as industrial action do not change the reality of the lawbreaking that has unfolded, including their persistently ignoring the prohibition against impeding essential services. Also, KDSG cannot ignore the illegal pressures brought to disrupt the operations of banks and other private business whose staff and customers do not have any industrial dispute with the state or any other government.

“KDSG acknowledges doctors and some other categories of health workers that are trying to run public health facilities, but regrets that some nurses have joined the unlawful strike and engaged in sabotage of some of our health facilities. Nurses were implicated in the forceful discharge of patients in many health facilities.

“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;

“KDSG will not submit its treasury to the entitled minority. We will reform and rightsize our public service to meet the needs and resources of the Kaduna State even if the NLC strikes ad infinitum. The government remains committed to using all the resources it can generate to serve the interests of the majority of its citizens, providing social services beyond paying salaries, always putting the interests of the many ahead of the few.”

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Kaduna – Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has declared the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba wanted, over a strike action that has all but paralysed the economy of the north-western state.

The 5-day warning strike across all sectors of the state’s economy, commenced on Monday, May 17, 2021.

The governor says Wabba and his team at the NLC will be charged with economic sabotage and vandalism under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

The NLC says it asked workers to down tools in the state because due process was not followed in the recent sack of thousands of workers from the Kaduna payroll.

Schools have been shut, airport activities grounded, banks locked, the electricity system grounded, and all sectors of the Kaduna economy have been left reeling from the industrial action.

Among other complaints, the union said the state government had denied health workers almost all allowances such as hazard, call duty, shifting and rural posting.

The NLC further said that the Kaduna state government has failed to pay the retirement benefits of 80 per cent of the 35, 000 civil servants it disengaged in 2017.

However, Head of Service in Kaduna State, Baritu Mohammed said “What is happening now in Kaduna is not an industrial action but a campaign of social and economic sabotage.”

“NLC is aware that inflicting pain on citizens, locking hospitals and public institutions, shutting down electricity will not change or affect the decision of Kaduna State government.

“It will not change the intention of the Kaduna State government to use Trade Union Act which prohibits strike by essential workers,” Mohammed adds.