Nasir El’Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna has disclosed that no member of his government will hold talks with the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, or any of its representatives until electricity supply is restored to the state.
The Governor also flayed 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 statement 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.
He said ; “No official of Kaduna State will go to Abuja for any meeting with FGN (Federal Government of Nigeria) or NLC when the citizens of the State have no electricity.”
“We hold the FGN responsible for (its) inability to assert its ownership rights over TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria). No electricity, no meeting.”
“Electric power is yet to be restored after it was shut down at dawn on Sunday, 16th May 2021, in brazen violation of the laws protecting essential services and infrastructure,” Muyiwa Adekeye, the spokesperson to Mr El-Rufai.
“That action removed any basis for state government officials to meet the NLC last Sunday. Denying our people electricity about 18 hours to the advertised commencement of their organised sabotage was akin to putting a gun on the government’s head. Government has a lawful duty not to indulge blackmail.
“Restoring electricity is vital to relieving some of the pain that needless acts of lawlessness have inflicted on our people.
“The unimpeded provision of essential services is vital to civilised order. Those who have disrupted it should promptly reverse themselves, not expect that it will be a matter for negotiation, much less being viewed as a precondition.
“KDSG will not participate in such a negotiation or countenance one whilst our people are still being denied their right to electricity.”
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.”
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.