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Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai has declared Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) leaders who coordinated the shutdown of the state in protest over mass sack of workers as bandits.
He vowed they will be prosecuted, accusing them of unwanton destruction of public properties and disruption of peace.
Their actions, according to the Governor, were equivalent to the actions of bandits terrorising the state.
He also ordered the sack of all nurses in the state below Grade Level 14 and lecturers of the Kaduna State University (KASU) for joining the five-day warning strike.
The Governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, lamented some nurses joined the unlawful strike and engaged in sabotage of some of its health facilities.
He alleged the nurses were implicated in the forceful discharge of patients in many health facilities.
The Governor declared the state will prosecute three nurses of Barau Teaching Hospital, who allegedly disconnected the oxygen supply of a two-day old baby in an incubator on Monday.
The Ministry of Health, according to him, has been directed to advertise vacancies for immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed.
The Governor also said any academic staff of Kaduna State University (KASU) that does not report for work will be dismissed.
The statement titled: “KDSG will not tolerate criminal acts disguised as industrial action” reads: “Today, the Kaduna State Government reviewed the sundry criminal actions that have defined the campaign of economic and social sabotage and lawlessness waged by the NLC.
“KDSG considers as unacceptable the serial violations of the Miscellaneous Offences Act and the Trade Union Act that have occurred over the last two days.
“However, KDSG cannot be expected to tolerate the brazen shutdown of electricity, attack on public infrastructure and buildings, locking up hospitals and forcefully discharging patients, unlawful trespass into public facilities and the wanton use of coercion and restraints of personal freedom by the NLC.
“Efforts to dress up criminal activity as industrial action do not change the reality of the law breaking that has unfolded, including their persistently ignoring the prohibition against impeding essential services.
“Also, KDSG cannot ignore the illegal pressures brought to disrupt the operations of banks and other private business whose staff and customers do not have any industrial dispute with the state or any other government.
“KDSG acknowledges doctors and some other categories of health workers that are trying to run public health facilities but regrets that some nurses have joined the unlawful strike and engaged in sabotage of some of our health facilities. Nurses were implicated in the forceful discharge of patients in many health facilities.
“Reports from Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital disclosed that some identified nurses disconnected the oxygen supply of a two-day old baby in an incubator on Monday, 17th May 2021. The names of the three nurses from the Special Baby Care Unit (SBCU) who were involved in this despicable act have been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for attempted murder or murder in the event we lose the baby.
“In addition, KDSG has decided the following: Ayuba Wabba and his senior confederates in the NLC are declared wanted and will be vigorously prosecuted for violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, the Miscellaneous Offences and the Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Acts. They are advised to report to the Ministry of Justice and the Police Headquarters to take their statements;
“The Ministry of Health will dismiss all nurses below GL 14 for going on an unlawful strike. Salaries that could have gone to them are to be given as extraordinary occupational allowances to the health workers who are at their duty posts to fill the gap of those absconding from duty.
“The Ministry of Health has been directed to advertise vacancies for the immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed;
“Any academic staff of KASU that does not report for work will be dismissed. The authorities of KASU are to submit a copy of the attendance register for all categories of staff daily to the Secretary to the State Government and the Commissioner of Education;
“All MDAs are also to submit daily copies of attendance register to the Head of Service;
“KDSG views the actions of the NLC as equivalent to the actions of the bandits kidnapping and menacing our citizens. Bandits illegally use arms but the NLC is deploying mob action for exactly the same ends: trying to hold hostage the freedoms, economic interests, livelihoods and resources of the people of Kaduna State.
“It is a vain expectation that this government will respond differently to sets of unlawful actions that have the same ends.
“KDSG will not submit its treasury to the entitled minority. We will reform and rightsize our public service to meet the needs and resources of the Kaduna State even if the NLC strikes ad infinitum.
“The government remains committed to using all the resources it can generate to serve the interests of the majority of its citizens, providing social services beyond paying salaries, always putting the interests of the many ahead of the few.”