Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has berated Nigerian governors for failing to support him during his face-off with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Recall that the NLC had declared a five day warning strike while calling on the Kaduna governor to reverse the sack of 4,000 workers.
Organized Labour however called off the strike after three days following the intervention of the federal government.
While the stand-off lasted, governors in a statement had called on El-Rufai and labour to return to the negotiation table.
“This is not the time for muscle-flexing. Nigerians are already overstretched with many challenges. At this critical point of our democratic journey, there cannot be limits to engagement between all governments and citizens. Every step must be therefore taken to resolve the current face-off between Kaduna state government and NLC. We appeal to both the State Government and NLC to return to the negotiating table,” read the statement signed by Kebbi State governor and Chairman of the PGF, Senator Atiku Bagudu.
But during a virtual meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday, El-Rufai stated that the press release by the NGF was not helpful.
“That press release with the greatest respect was unhelpful. It was unhelpful, it said nothing it was trying to play both sides. I am a governor, I am one of you, the least I expect from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum is unequivocal and unqualified support I didn’t see that in that statement. I am being very blunt; I could pretend and be political and just smile and say it was alright but it is not. But I am used to fighting my own battles.
“We are not running a unitary system, we are a federation. We are elected to govern different states, we owe our people accountability not the NLC, we should take a common stand,” he said.
El-Rufai’s response was coming after Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State had criticised governors for not showing support to their Kaduna colleague.
He warned that what El-Rufai was going through could have happened to any other governor in the country.
Speaking, El-Rufai revealed that there is a conspiracy against the government of Kaduna State, adding that a fellow governor gave organized labour money to mobilize to the north-west state.
“If it is about rights of workers Kaduna is not the only state that has retrenched workers, Kaduna is not a state owing salaries, Kaduna is not a state failing to pay minimum wage, Kaduna is not a state owing years of pension arrears, why didn’t they go there? Kaduna was targeted for political reasons, and they are being financed by certain political interests.
“But we will fight them, we will defeat them but as the governor of Bayelsa said, and since he has brought that subject, I have a responsibility to put it through, unless we collectively address this monster, it will consume all of us.
“After this, they will never come back to Kaduna, they will never come back, you will see. They will go to other states it’s up to the forum to decide on what to do, but we are here, we are ready, we will end this by the grace of God,” he said.