Politics

A governor sponsored the NLC strike in Kaduna State and the Nigeria Governors Forum abandoned me to fight alone – El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has accused his colleagues of abandoning his government in its fight with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

El-Rufai spoke during a virtual meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum on Wednesday.

He also alleged that a governor sponsored the NLC to destabilise Kaduna State.

The NLC had commenced a five-day strike on Monday over the sacking of 45,000 workers by Governor El-Rufai.

The strike shut down the state as banks, ariports, train stations, power, fuel stations and others were shut.

El-Rufai had following the commencement declared the President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who was in Kaduna leading public peaceful protest, wanted for alleged economic sabotage.

At the meeting with his colleagues, El-Rufai berated the NGF, saying that he did not get the required support from his colleagues.

“I am a governor. I am one of you. The least I expect from the Nigeria Governors Forum is unequivocal and unqualified support. I didn’t see that in that statement.

“I am being very blunt. I could pretend and be political and just smile and say it was alright but it is not. But I am used to fighting my own battles,” he said.

The Chairman of the NGF, Kayode Fayemi, had urged the NLC and the Kaduna State Government to exercise restraint.

“The NGF calls for cautious introspection on the part of Labour as no meaningful progress of any kind has ever been achieved in an atmosphere of conflict and chaos,” the governors stated.

However El-Rufai described the statement as playing both sides. “That press release with the greatest respect was unhelpful. It was unhelpful. It said nothing. It was trying to play both sides,” El-Rufai said.

Governor El-Rufai further stated that the labour was the greatest threat to Nigeria, adding that governors must unite to tackle their menace to prevent the country from degenerating.

“We will fight this. We are breaking them and they will leave town ashamed. I will not give them one inch because this is not about unionism.

“If it is about rights of workers, Kaduna is not the only state that has retrenched workers. Kaduna is not a state owing salaries. Kaduna is not a state failing to pay minimum wage. Kaduna is not a state owing years of pension arrears. Why didn’t they go there? Kaduna was targeted for political reasons; and they are being financed by certain political interests. But we will fight them, we will defeat them but as the Governor of Bayelsa said, and since he has brought that subject, I have a responsibility to put it through, unless we collectively address this monster, it will consume all of us.

“After this, they (NLC) will never come back to Kaduna. They will never come back, you will see. They will go to other states. It is up to the forum to decide on what to do, but we are here, we are ready, we will end this by the grace of God.

“I would like to inform the forum that one of our colleagues, a state governor actually gave the NLC money to come to Kaduna to do this because people think everything is politics. This is not politics. This is a monster that will consume all of us. It will not consume Kaduna I’m confident of that.”

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State had earlier expressed displeasure over lack of support for El-Rufai. He said, “We are not running a unitary system (of government), we are a federation. We were elected to govern different states. We owe our people accountability not the NLC, we should take a common stand.”

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