Paul Obi in Abuja
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Monday cautioned the 19 states governors in the North not to imitate and implement Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed El-Rufaiâ€™s policy of sacking teachers, as it would serve them no good.
Speaking on recent reports linking El-Rufai to plans by other northern governors to copy his policy, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba said: â€œIt has been brought to our attention, statements credited to the Governor of Kaduna State, El-Rufai, over plans by other northern governorsâ€™ to imitate his ruinous path of sacking teachers in their state employment.
â€œThere is really no doubt that El-Rufai mistakes notoriety for popularity. The two are millennia apart.
â€œUnfortunately, the Governor of Kaduna State has decided not only to continue in his favourite past time of inflicting pains and sorrows wherever he goes, he is also bent on marketing such profound proclivity for mischief to his fellow governors.â€
Wabba stated: â€œWe need to remind El-Rufai that there is a limit that man can play God. By announcing that other northern state governors will replicate his callous and insensitive retrenchment of teachers and other cadre of workers in Kaduna State post-2019 election, El-Rufai has already declared his own election and those of the governors he is purportedly speaking for a fait accompli.
â€œOrganised labour wishes to remind El-Rufai that he is not God, after all. He and other northern governors possess a voter card each.
â€œCitizens at the receiving end of their unpopular and de-humanising policies are in the majority. In 2019, we will ensure that the votes of the oppressed and victimised count all over Nigeria.â€
He added that â€œwhile Nigerians continue to watch the open desecration of the rule of law, human rights, constitutionally guaranteed freedom and collective cum individual dignity in Kaduna State, we urge other northern governors especially those in the same political party as Governor el-Rufai not to be deceived into copying the failed policies of el-Rufai.
â€œThe truth is that the logjam that has trailed el-Rufaiâ€™s phony reform of the education sector in Kaduna State has overshadowed the public outcry that greeted his unjust sack of teachers and other cadre of workers.
â€œThis is the time for all the northern governors to put a disclaimer on el-Rufai before they are counted with him as frontline enemies of the Nigerian people.
â€œWe also urge President Muhammadu Buhari to call El-Rufai to order. A stitch in time might still save nine!
â€œFinally, it might be helpful to remind el-Rufai and his co travellers that workersâ€™ retrenchment does not only violate workersâ€™ fundamental rights, it also runs afoul of Nigeriaâ€™s labour laws, international conventions and best industrial relations practice.
â€œThe peopleâ€™s voice will remain the voice of God. Nigerian workers are ready to speak when the time comes. A word is enough for the wise,â€ Wabba stressed.