Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i of Kaduna State says Thursday’s protests embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna State against the dismissal of thousands of workers will not change his government’s position on the matter.
Mr. El-Rufa’i stated this while responding to questions from State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock, Abuja, on Friday.
He dismissed the assertion that he employed the services of security agencies, particularly the police, to foil the protest march.
The NLC, led by its National Chairman, Ayuba Wabara, had on Thursday embarked on a protest march in spite of a heavy security presence.
The governor explained why the police was opposed to the protest.
“I think the concern of the police is because of the precarious situation in the country, particularly in Kaduna, made it unsuitable to have such protest,” Mr. El-Rufai said.
“So this is the concern, the concern is breakdown of law and order and not protest or strike.
“They are free to do so but it will not change our position,’’ he said.
He reiterated the state government’s pledge to pay all the entitlements of the affected staff, saying the government had set aside farmland for those interested in farming.
The governor said, “We have announced that in line with the public service rule, we will pay three months’ severance package and we have provided incentives for those that are retiring to go through the retirement training.
“Those that are interested in farming, we have the reserved land available and for those that want to go into trade, we have micro credit to support them.
“But they are not suitable as teachers, they can do other things and the government will do other things to support them.’’