The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has again called on the Governor Nasir El-Rufai led government in Kaduna State to respect the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both NLC and the government and the reversal of the planned probe of some unionists.
The development followed the setting up of a panel by Nasir El-Rufai to probe the week-long strike organised in the state by Labour in solidarity with its members who were disengaged by the state government.
Retired Judge Justice Ishaq Bello was named as Chairman of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that will probe the strike
The NLC directed its state councils and affiliate unions to be on standby.
Reacting to the composition of the investigative panel, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba said: “Meanwhile, weaver that our statutory notice on the escalation of this strike/protest action as given by our National Executive Council effective from 22nd of June, 2021, stands running.
“In furtherance of this, all our affiliate trade unions and members across the country are to step up mobilisation.”
The NLC leader described the setting up of the panel as a “joke taken too far, an abuse of executive powers of a governor and a waste of the resources of the state.”
Although, the union agreed that the governor has the powers to set up such panel, it questioned how justice will be served saying that “we do not see how Mr. El-Rufai/Kaduna State goverment could be judge in this matter and we would still have justice given his repeated boast that he would deal with Labour leaders and those who took part in the strike action….and that by the time he was done, they would never again set their feet in Kaduna.”
The NLC urged the governor to learn to respect “his office, the oath of office he took, our Labour laws and the MoU his government voluntarily signed with organised Labour.”
The NLC had on June 22, put its members on strike alert following the failure of the Kaduna State Government to respect the MoU brokered by the Federal Government.
The Congress took the decision after an emergency National Executive Council meeting presided over by Wabba.
A statement by El-Rufai’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye listed one-time Cross River State Attorney-General (A-G) and Commissioner for Justice Eyo Ekpo and former Kaduna A-G Mrs. Joan Jatau-Kadiya as members.
According to the statement, former Assistant General of the NLC/Deputy National Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Chom Bagu will also serve on the pan el.
Adekeye listed other members to include AVM Rabiu Dabo, Dr Nasirudeen Usman and Malam Mohammed Isah Aliyu.
The media aide said: “The Judicial Commission of Inquiry is constituted based on the 1999 Constitution and the Commissions of Inquiry Law CAP 34, Laws of Kaduna State 1991.