By Appolos Christian
The Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), has described as ‘executive rascality’ the attacks on protesting members of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna, by some youth who were allegedly sent by Governor El-Rufai.
MHWUN in a statement signed by its National President, Com. (Dr.) Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, expressed displeasure, disgust and dismay, saying the Governor El-Rufai’s action were barbaric, primitive. The Union further said; “we call on our members nationwide to remain alert and await further directives on this matter as “an injury to one is an injury to all” and “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere”.”
The statement went on to call on all workers and citizens of Kaduna State to tag Tuesday, 18th May, 2021 as a sad day for democracy.
In part, the statement read: “On behalf of the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) in Nigeria, I want to use this occasion to register our utmost displeasure, disgust and dismay at the naked display of executive rascality exhibited by the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mal. Nasir El-Rufai by unleashing hoodlums on defenseless workers’ led by Global President, Comrade (Dr.) Ayuba Wabba, mni while on a Peaceful Protest Rally against the mass sack and casualization of workers of Kaduna State.
“The union is indeed surprised that this barbaric, primitive and anarchist action could still be practiced in modern day Nigeria. That this incident is occurring at a time when the heightened cases of insecurity said to have been aided by hunger and deprivation, even in the face of helplessness of the authorities has brought about an envelope of fear and trepidation in all the six geo-political zones of the country.
“So for Mal. El-Rufai to mass sack workers whose only offence is that they chose to serve their fatherland faithfully and diligently with all man made inconveniences is most unfortunate. We are, therefore, angered that even in the face of this deprivation, we are being provoked and humiliated.
“Let it be known to members of the public that peaceful picketing is guaranteed under section 43 of Trade Union ACT CAP T14 LFN 2004. This position of the law has been affirmed severally by the superior courts of record up to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“We wish to use this medium to highlight the illegal actions by the Governor which is being challenged by the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress viz; 1. Retirement of Officers who are 50 years of age and above. 2. Retirement of Officers on GL. 14 and above. 3. Converting Officers on GL. 01 – 06 to casual labourers. 4. Dismissal of Nurses on GL. 14 and below.
5. Dismissal of Lecturers and Staff of Kaduna State University for participating in the peaceful protest.
“These actions have been taken without regard to extant labour laws and circulars that regulate employment of public servants whose appointment are clothed with statutory flavor.
“The union, therefore, call on Mal. El-Rufai to as a matter of urgency to recall all those he sacked unjustly and to publicly offer an unreserved apology to the Global President and Nigerian Workers within the next forty eight hours for the dastardly act.
“The union re-affirms our commitment to actions already taken and other being contemplated by the leadership of Congress to bring succor to the long suffering workers of Kaduna State.
“We particularly call on all workers and citizens of Kaduna State to tag Tuesday, 18th May, 2021 as a sad day for democracy and a day of mourning when an elected Governor threw away the constitution he swore to uphold and embraced thuggery.
“We call on the entire citizens of Kaduna State to particularly remember this day so that when this same man come calling to beg for votes to go to the retirement home of former Governors – the senate or for any other elective position, he should be rejected out rightly as there is no room for anarchist in a democratic society.”