Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna during a virtual meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum on Wednesday, blasted his fellow Governors for abandoning his government in its face-off with the Nigeria Labour Congress.
El’ Rufai further disclosed that an unnamed governor provided funds and logistics for the NLC to destabilise Kaduna State.
He said; “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.”
“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.
In a surprise twist to events, Duoye Diri, the Governor of Bayelsa added his voice to the situation faced by El’ Rufai saying that the impasse faced would soon catch up with other states if the situation was not properly managed. He opined that; “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.”
El Rufai later continued saying; “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.”
El’ Rufai further blamed a statement released by the NGF on the imbroglio as ‘playing to both sides’, saying; “That press release with the greatest respect was unhelpful. It was unhelpful. It said nothing. It was trying to play both sides.