Thousands of Nigerian workers led by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba and Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday shutdown Kaduna metropolis to protest the sack of over 36,000 workers in the state.
The mega rally, which included workers from the 36 states of the federation and FCT, Abuja, organised by the labour union started at the NLC office along Independence Way through Muhammadu Buhari Way, NEPA Roundabout, Ali Akilu Road, off Sokoto Road to Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House. According to the NLC, they were protesting among others, the sack of 36,000 government workers in the state, including the 21,780 primary school teachers sacked for failing a competency test conducted by the Kaduna state government; 4,000 local government workers and 8,000 others sacked by government. The police deployed stern looking men in the metropolis, blocking the road leading to the NLC secretariat along Abdulrahman Okene Road (formerly Lafia Road).
At about 11am, the workers led by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, forced their way into the streets after some arguments with the over 8,000 security forces, comprising of the police, civil defence, combat ready army and operatives of the Department of State Security.
An emissary from Governor Ahmed Nasir El-Rufai through the Counselor on Information to the Governor, Malam Saidu Adamu, was rejected by the labour leaders, who demanded to deliver the protest letter to either the governor or his deputy.
They later delivered the letter to the Counselor after much pleading. The NLC members had gathered at the secretariat of the state chapter of the Congress where they were briefed by the leadership of the unions on the modality of the rally.
The NLC President while addressing the workers had told them that even with the presence of large numbers of security operatives, no force would stop the rally which he said would be “peaceful.” He told the workers how some members of the union were allegedly stopped on their ways from Abuja at the Kaduna tollgate to attend the rally.
He noted that the Nigerian democracy was in danger as it could not thrive where the rule of law is trampled. He added that the over 8,000 security men deployed to stop the rally should have been sent to Benue, Taraba, and Adamawa to fight and not on defenceless workers.