Local government staff who were compulsory retired by Kaduna State government stormed the Lafiya Road Secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress ,(NLC) in protest of their unpaid entitlements .
The 36,000 workers from the 23 Local Government of the State asked electorate to comply with President Mohammadu Buhari’s directive to vote out any governor ,who refused to pay workers and retirees their entitlements
Addressing the press at a rally at the premises of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Kaduna State Chapter on the 16th January, 2016, Comrade Umar Jafar ,the Secretary of the Retirees said the decision to move to NLC Secretariat is to notify the general public of the evil the present government has meted out on them and to mobilise the public against the All Progressive Congress, APC and Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Comrade Jafar said they came to the NLC to protest the noncompliance of Kaduna State to pay their entitlement after 15 months of compulsory retirement, adding that under normal circumstance as it applies with civil service rule, if a staff is retired whether voluntary or compulsorily, he should be paid his gratuity and there and then enrol for his pension.
“We are not against the retirement but what we are protesting now is the state government noncompliance with the rules of disengagement, even though there were series of complain from here and there. However, President Mohammadu Buhari recently told the whole world that any governor that did not comply in paying staff and pension entitlement shall be voted out of government in this election.
“We are here today to tell the good of people of Kaduna State to come out en mass to vote anything that is associated with Mallam Nasir El-Rufai out of office come 16th February and 2nd March, 2019 haven refused to obey President Mohammadu Buhari’s orders. Buhari directed all the governors to pay workers and retirees their entitlement with the huge amount of money from the Paris Club funds that has been giving to state governments,” he said
According Comrade Jafar, Kaduna state is one of the states that has collected the highest amount of money from the Paris Club funds and not a penny has been paid to them.
He said the governor’s action has put the 36,000 retirees from the 23 Local Government Areas in the state since November 2017 without a kobo in a very terrible situation.
“The Governor has been going on-line telling the general public that he has settled us. If he has paid us, why should we come out to protest? I was a staff of the Local Government with Staff No: PSN/KDN0250 and I am telling you people that none of us has been paid and that is why we are here. Yes, we have made several efforts to meet with the people concerned in the government including the governor himself but he has been telling lies that he has paid us, and that anybody that did not receive his payment is having a BVN problems but that is all lies, nobody has been paid.
“We have taken our case to NLC, NULGE, TUC and we even went to Industrial Court. We have complied with all the aspect of unionism laws, we rallied to the state assembly to protest against governor El-Rufai’s actions but because of his level of inhumanity and disrespect to rule of law, he sacked people and denied them their rights.
“The National Union of Local Government Employee, NULGE and all the other trade union in the state have been intimidated by the governor’s threat. You know he mistakenly retired about 80% workforce of the local government but this time around, we heard that he has warned all the civil servants that he will summarily terminate their appointment if he has any reason to do that and you know that, that will deny them pension, so NULGE, NLC, TUC are all scared of his threat.
“We know that it will be very difficult for him to pay us within this few days to the elections since he was unable after 15 months, so our best option is to come out to let the public know the situation this government has put us in. We are in very bad situation now, suffering from abject poverty, we cannot feed our families, pay school fees of our children, house rents, hospital bills. Some of the women you see here are widows as a result of this retirement without pay. Their husbands died out of frustrations. Some of us had to divorce our wives because they could not tolerate the hardship.
“It is very unfortunate that the person we voted in 2015 thinking that he was coming to relief us from hardship incidentally became more dangerous than we expected and he has so much endangered our lives and that is why we came to cry out to the remaining of our colleagues in the service and the general public to shine their eyes and vote wisely by voting El-Rufai out. We have lost so many of our colleagues, as a matter of fact, last week alone we lost Yusuf Abdullahi, Abubakar Kawu, Umar Shehu, Imam Abubakar and Monica Dokaji due to hardship
What we want now is for Kaduna people to comply with President Buhari directives and that is to vote Nasir El-Rufai out of office. Presently, he has started going from door to door to persuade and deceive the people to vote him so he can finish them. El-Rufai is the most deceitful governor in Nigeria, he is about to deceive the people again and he must be stopped,” he concluded