The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) says the “draconian” leadership of Nasir el-Rufa’i, Governor of Kaduna, has made thousands of workers in the state wretched.

In a New Year message to Nigerians on Sunday, Ayuba Wabba, President of NLC, said workers would be mobilised to march for the reversal of the teachers’ sack. The Kaduna government had sacked primary school teachers for failing to pass assessment tests.

Wabba lamented that el-Rufai’s Christmas and New Year gift to Kaduna workers and their families “is tears and sorrow.”

He said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report which indicated that over 4 million Nigerians lost their jobs in 2017 explains the current economic landscape of the country.

“Rather than work to create jobs and improve the condition of Nigerian working people and Nigerians in general, leading elements in the ruling APC government, like Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i, have been taking measures to further chastise and ruin Nigerians by throwing tens of thousands of workers into the already saturated unemployment market and wretchedness,” the statement read.

“We wish to once again draw the attention the Presidency and Nigerians in general to the ongoing draconian leadership of the Kaduna State Government under mallam Nasir el-Rufa’i as Governor.

“A couple of months ago, Governor el-Rufa’i by administrative fiat dismissed about 22,000 primary school teachers in the state under the excuse that they failed to pass assessment tests that the authorized teaching regulatory body did not conduct.

“Similarly, el-Rufa’i equally sacked over 4,500 local government employees in the state.

“Despite the wise counsel of well-meaning Nigerians and protestations from the Congress, including an injunction from the National Industrial Court (NIC) which had ruled that the status quo should be maintained till the determination of the substantive suit brought before it by the unjustly dismissed workers and Unions in Kaduna State, Governor el-Rufa’i, like all despots, has remained adamant.

“Last Friday, 29th December, 2017, Governor el-Rufa’i authorised Education Secretaries and relevant local government authorities to commence the distribution of sack letters to teachers and local government workers in the 23 local government areas of the state beginning from Tuesday, 2nd January, 2018.

“Under this atmosphere of disregard for the rule of law and decency, Congress is left with no other option than to use all legitimate means to challenge the crass impunity and despotism being displayed by Governor el-Rufa’i.

“It will therefore give effect to the Congress National Executive Council (NEC) decision to observe January 11, 2018 as a day of solidarity with the workers of Kaduna State, and shall mobilise Nigerian workers to march for the reversion of the sacked workers in Kaduna city.”