President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Waba on Thursday, said the labour would not back down on the protests in opposition to the planned sack of over 20,000 workers by the Kaduna state government.
Waba who led thousands of workers to Government House, Kaduna said they would not be intimidated by the presence of security operatives, acting on the orders of Governor Nasiru El-Rufai.
He said the workers were on a peaceful protest to register their displeasure over the action of the Kaduna state government.
“The sack of 36,000 workers has nothing to do with competency; Kaduna state government didn’t conduct competency test for local government workers yet they were sacked.
“We are here to defend the right of 36,000 workers and their families that have been disengaged from the state civil service.
“The last time we were here we talked of only 21,000 teachers, but today as we speak over 4,000 local government workers have been issued sack letters, and over 8,000 from ministries, department and agencies including tertiary institutions have been sacked.
“This is cruelty, as this is not what we bargained for and we can’t keep quiet in a decent society where this is happening.
“We have now tested the waters and the struggle will be carried out to every state.
“In Kaduna state no worker is safe, no family is safe and it is better they are defeated struggling than to be defeated in their comfort zone.
“Injury to one is an injury to all and I am happy that our unions are here in full force to support us.
“This solidarity must continue because today is for Kaduna workers and tomorrow can be workers in other states.’’
He submitted that El-Rufai is not expected to take any action on the issue at the matter is pending in a court of law.
“NUT have gone to court and have gotten a restraining order to say that no teacher out of the 21,000 should be sacked until the case is determined, but he has refused to respect the rule of law.
“If the high and mighty cannot respect the rule of law then citizens can also find a way not to respect the rule of law then we are working towards anarchy.’’
The protesters were received at the Government house in Kaduna by Alhaji Saidu Adamu, Councillor for Information and Communication, who promised to relay their message to the governor who was away on official trip.