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FG intervenes in Kaduna Govt., NLC face-off

By Idowu Abdullahi

The Federal Government has stated that the ongoing face-off between Kaduna State Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) could be resolved with both parties embracing option of dialogue, adding that more would be achieved through negotiation.

It added that though the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was not oblivious of the current situation, it was working assidiously to proffer lasting solution to the ongoing industrial dispute.

Giving details of the apex government’s intervention, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that apart from the efforts by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, to resolve the issue, the security apparatus have taken a pre-emptive measure to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the protest.

Briefing State House correspondents on Wednesday at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the minister noted that no efforts would be spared in controling the sitaution.

According to him, the federal government is not folding its arms and already the Minister of Labour and Employment has waded in and is in touch with both the government of Kaduna State and also the Labour.

“In addition, the security apparatus all over the country have also taken pre-emptive measures to ensure that hoodlums don’t take advantage of this situation. In particular, I know that the police has reinforced its patrol between Kaduna and Abuja so that we do not witness kidnappers taking advantage of the situation.

“Overall, I think the federal government is quite concerned and is doing its best to see how the two parties can resolve their misunderstandings amicably, with little loss to productivity, little loss to properties. At the end of the day, all the parties have to come back to the drawing table to agree and hammer out concessions and agreements,” he said.

Meanwhile, the federal government has invited the NLC and Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led Kaduna government for discussion aimed at finding common ground on the dispute.

El-Rufai, alongside top officials of the state as well as the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and other labour leaders were invited by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, for the emergency conciliation meeting on Thursday (tomorrow) on behalf of federal government.

Through a statement by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Charles Akpan, the minister stated that meeting would hold at his office, adding that both parties have been directed to maintain the status quo ante pending the resolution of the issues in contention.

“Sequel to the strike prompted by the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) one of the federations of Trade Unions in Nigeria, and the subsequent withdrawal of work and services in almost all public sector establishments and institutions in Kaduna State, including but not limited to the essential services in electricity , water and health, which has consequently resulted and inflicted huge damage and loss to the economy and well-being and even loss of lives to the people of Kaduna State in the last three days.

“I am therefore constrained in the exercise of my powers as the Minister of Labour and Employment, under the Trade Disputes Act, CAP. T8, Laws of Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004; to invite you and your top officials to the emergency trade dispute conciliation meeting.

“Between the transition period for the meeting, you are please requested to maintain the status quo ante bellum this dispute, so that the enabling climate for the resolution of the issues in dispute will not be hindered by the creation of new issues,” the letter separately addressed to El-Rufai and NLC president read.

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