The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has vowed not to honour the negotiation meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, that will be brokered by the Federal Government, unless electricity is restored in his State, .
Governor El-Rufai also lambasted the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government, for allowing workers of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, owned by it, to disrupt electricity supply to his State.
He made the comment after the NLC announced the suspension of the 5-day warning strike and anti-workers policies protest in Kaduna State.
The NLC suspended the industrial action after the intervention of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who requested the parties to sheathe their swords for a Federal Government-mediated negotiation, to hold in Abuja, today, Thursday.
However, shortly after the NLC announced that it was suspending the strike to enable it to honour the planned meeting, Governor El-Rufai issued a statement that said that no Official of his government would negotiate with the Unions, unless electricity is restored in the State.
The National Union of Electricity Employees is an affiliate of the NLC, and its members had on Sunday, switched off electricity supply in the State, and joined the strike.
In his statement early on Thursday morning, Governor El-Rufai said: “No official of Kaduna State will go to Abuja for any meeting with FGN (Federal Government of Nigeria) or NLC, when the citizens of the State have no electricity.
“We hold the FGN responsible for (its) inability to assert its ownership rights over TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria). No electricity, no meeting.”
Hours before his latest update, the State Government had said that it is yet to see evidence “that the NLC is backing off from its campaign of economic and social sabotage against the people of the State”.
“Electric power is yet to be restored after it was shut down at dawn on Sunday, 16th May, 2021, in brazen violation of the laws protecting essential services and infrastructure.
“That action removed any basis for State Government Officials to meet the NLC. Denying our people electricity about 18 hours to the advertised commencement of their organised sabotage was akin to putting a gun on the government’s head. Government has a lawful duty not to indulge blackmail.
“Restoring electricity is vital to relieving some of the pain that needless acts of lawlessness have inflicted on our people.
“The unimpeded provision of essential services is vital to civilised order. Those who have disrupted it should promptly reverse themselves, not expect that it will be a matter for negotiation, much less being viewed as a precondition.
“KDSG will not participate in such a negotiation or countenance one whilst our people are still being denied their right to electricity”, Muyiwa Adekeye, the Spokesperson to Governor El-Rufai, said in a statement
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