SANs slam El-Rufai over order on Wabba, NLC president dares gov
There was confusion in Kaduna, the Kaduna State capital, on Tuesday when thugs attacked workers at a rally organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress as the strike in the state entered the second day.
The NLC, in a statement by its Acting General Secretary, Ismail Bello, condemned the attack and threatened to embark on a nationwide strike.
Earlier, the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had declared the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, wanted for economic sabotage.
The state workers had on Monday begun a five-day strike over the governor’s retrenchment of 45,000 workers and the alleged anti-labour policies of the government.
The strike paralysed the state on Monday as civil servants, aviation and rail workers joined the industrial action.
converged on the state NLC secretariat along the Race Course Road, Ungwan-Rimi, Kaduna, from where they marched to NEPA Roundabout at 11am.
It was learnt that the NLC planned to march to the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, along Sokoto road in the metropolis.
But trouble started at 12pm when hoodlums in hundreds with dangerous weapons such as clubs, knives and stones attacked workers and labour leaders.
Suspected thugs who came in two vehicles hauled stones at the workers, chasing them to the other side of the Ahmadu Bello Way before the NLC members, who were more in numbers retreated and chased them (thugs) away.
But for the police Special Force that accompanied the NLC members, who swiftly moved to avert the crisis, it would have snowballed into a bloody clash.
Other police operatives stationed by the side of the roundabout fired teargas canisters to disperse the hoodlums while the NLC mobilised its members to chase the thugs away. The attack lasted for less than an hour.
Speaking at the rally shortly after the confusion, the NLC president alleged that the state government hired the hoodlums to attack the peaceful rally, saying that “we have dismantled them.”
Wabba said, “I called the Department of State Services headquarters, I called the DIG Operation. I also called the State(Kaduna) Director of the DSS, I gave them the information.
“While we are here (NEPA roundabout), they(thugs) came but we thank God that we have dismantled them. We have chased them away because we have the numbers.
“We have no thugs and we are not using thugs but we have Nigerian workers. And we thank God that we will catch them alive and we are going to dismantle them.”
El-Rufai had earlier on Tuesday declared the NLC president and other officials of the union wanted for sabotaging the economy of the state.
The governor tweeted, “Ayuba Wabba & others of @NLCHeadquarters declared wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure under Miscellaneous Offences Act. Anyone that knows where he is hiding should send a message to @MOJKaduna KDSG. There will be a handsome reward!”
But curiously, the NLC President was at the rally at the NEPA roundabout, which the thugs interrupted.