The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has slammed Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State for setting up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the causes of its warning strike action over the mass sack and anti-Labour practices in the state.
A statement issued by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, on Monday in Abuja, described the setting up of the commission of Inquiry as “an abuse of executive powers of a governor and a waste of the resources of the state.”
Wabba noted that governor El-Rufai cannot be a judge in his own case, adding that the action was a joke taken too far.
Against this background, the NLC president said the statutory notice given by our National Executive Council on the strike/protest action, effective from 22 June 2021 still stands.
Wabba, therefore, called on all its affiliate trade unions and members across the country to step up mobilisation.
He said: “Without prejudice to the right of a state government to set up a commission of inquiry, and although we have the greatest respect for the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Ishaq Bello and members of the Commission (save hirelings/hatchet men), we would think this is a joke taken too far, abuse of executive powers of a governor and a waste of the resources of the state.
“But then, this trend would seem to be a logical sequence to the powers (that he wrongfully appropriated) that made him declare wanted Labour leaders during the warning strike.
“But besides this, we would want to state unequivocally that the warning strike was purely a Labour dispute and industrial relations action legitimised by the 1999 constitution (as amended) and the corpus of our Labour Law as the rights to strike and protest by workers and their trade unions are universal rights guaranteed by the provisions of international labour conventions which Nigeria has ratified. Similarly, the process that led to the action was legally or lawfully competent.”
Wabba advised Governor El-Rufai to approach the Court of law if he felt that the event should become a subject of litigation.
He said: “In the unlikely event that it became a subject of litigation, the appropriate judicial body would be a court of competent jurisdiction as provided for by the 1999 constitution, (as amended) as El-Rufai cannot be a judicial body. More so is the fact that Labour and industrial relations issues are on the Exclusive Legislative List.”
Wabba urged the governor to approach the National Industrial Court which is vested with powers to invoke global best practices in resolving disputes through adjudication.