The Kaduna State Government and the State Police Command have warned the Nigeria Labour Congress not to carry out its intended protest over the sacking of workers in the State scheduled for Thursday.
Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Agyole Abe, has warned protesters to stay off the State. He said, while addressing newsmen in Kaduna Wednesday, that the ban on any form of public procession was still in force in the State.
He warned that individuals or group intending to carry out any public protest or procession should in the interest of the public peace shelve such plans as he said the Police will not stand by and watch the peace enjoyed by the citizens of the State truncated.
He said: “We wish to remind that the last incident relating to the same issues of teachers where the organized labour union staged what was supposed to be a peaceful protest turned out to be a near breach of the public peace in the State which resulted to chaos and destruction of some properties of Government especially at the State House of Assembly.
“It is also in the interest of the good people of Kaduna State to note that those who might be contemplating to come to Kaduna to foment trouble are strictly advised to stay away from the State as the Command is prepared to deal decisively with any such person or group.”
Also, at a press briefing in Kaduna on Wednesday, the Spokesperson of Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said security agencies had decided not to allow the protest to hold.
He said this was because protesters had attacked the State House of Assembly and destroyed public property in addition to engaging in unlawful assembly and other violations of the Penal Code of the State during a similar protest November last year organised by the NLC.
“To that effect the security agencies have already made it clear that no body or group will be allowed to repeat those messy incidents or threaten law and order in Kaduna State in the guise of a march.
“Trade Unions cannot hold our State to ransom, by shamelessly insisting on the retention of bad teachers, or baseless claiming that a State must spend all its resources on one per cent of the population,” Mr. Aruwan said
No Stopping Us Now – NLC
The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said in a statement he personally signed and issued on Wednesday that the Union had “credible information” that Governor el-Rufa’i “has mobilised thugs to disrupt workers’ peaceful protest on Thursday.
“We also have information that the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Command, has said all protests in the state remain banned.
“We do not think he has such powers. Moreover, it would run against the grain of fair-play and proper policing if the Commissioner will be selective in which protests he allows because only recently, the Governor himself organised two protests in support of his policies in the state. We do hope the statement credited to the commissioner is not true.
“We also do hope he does not condition his officers and men to allow their services to be procured in furtherance of a sinister agenda. We not only warn against these desperate tactics, we feel duty-bound to draw the attention of the relevant authorities and the generality of Nigerians to the grave dangers these portend.
“Peaceful protest is a form of expression validated or legitimised by our national constitution, ILO Conventions and our Labour Laws and no governor, no matter how executive, should abridge this legitimacy!
“We at the Nigeria Labour Congress, and indeed, all law-abiding citizens consider any attempt to circumvent the Law by any citizen, no matter how highly-placed as an affront to our history of popular struggle and democratic values.
“We wish to use this opportunity to let the Governor and his cohorts know that our members from across the country are fully mobilised in Kaduna, and nothing, absolutely nothing, will stop them from peacefully protesting against his mindless policies on Thursday, November 11, 2018.
“We also wish to let the world know that he has made this peaceful protest inevitable by his refusal to fully submit himself to the conciliation process by the Federal Ministry of Labour.
“We are in a democracy governed by the rule of law and not the caprice of a vindictive mind out to satisfy only the whims of the World Bank and the IMF.
“Finally, we also wish to call upon the Inspector General of Police and the leaderships of other relevant security agencies to caution their officers and men against betraying their Oath of Office by accepting to do a dirty job.
“Today, it is about 36,000 Kaduna State workers thrown out of work for no just cause. Tomorrow, it could be anybody.
“We are committed to a peaceful protest. No stopping us now.”