A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Monday called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to exercise calm and restraint in its engagement with the Kaduna State Government.
NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi made the call via a statement, adding that no meaningful progress of any kind has ever been achieved in an atmosphere of conflict and chaos.
“The NGF also wishes to remind the NLC that its actions could become counter-productive especially as the last year 2020, had adversely affected workers socially and economically,” the statement partly read.
“Therefore the NGF advises the NLC to explore the already open avenue of rapprochement that the Kaduna State government has provided to resolve the matter and join the State to evolve a convivial working environment that is befitting for all.”
Fayemi called on the NLC to be open-minded towards “the altruistic intention of the staff audit that the Kaduna State is embarking upon to sanitise the state’s workforce and make it more productive.”
He added, “This should not be seen as a witch-hunt or an attempt to unnecessarily downsize the civil service.
“As we all know, all States are at present going through difficult times and the most feasible option will be for each State to device its own response to its unique challenges without undermining the rights of individuals to seek redress.”
The NGF’s reactions come shortly after the Kaduna State Government has declared NLC President, Ayuba Wabba wanted.
Governor Nasir Elrufai who announced this on his verified Twitter handle @elrufai on Tuesday morning, said the NLC president and other labour leaders were declared wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure in Kaduna State under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.
Wabba had earlier on Monday led workers in the state on a warning strike following the recent disengagement of over seven thousand civil servants at the state and local governments by the state government.
The protest resulted in a power outage, shut down of the airport, and fuel queues in various parts of the state as aviation workers shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA) in solidarity.
Other affiliate unions including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union Of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria also joined the protest.