The Kaduna State Government on Tuesday ordered the sack of nurses below level 14 for joining a strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress. The government has also directed the state’s Ministry of Health to place advertisements for immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed.
The NLC commenced an industrial action in the state on Monday over the sack of over 7,000 civil servants in the state, a move rejected by the Governor Nasir El-Rufai administration.
According to the government, the sack of public servants has become imperative due to dwindling financial resources and higher wage bills which have become unsustainable.
“The Ministry of Health will dismiss all nurses below GL 14 for going on an unlawful strike,” a statement signed by a spokesman to the Governor, Muyiwa Adekeye, said on Tuesday. Salaries that could have gone to them are to be given as extraordinary occupational allowances to the health workers who are at their duty posts to fill the gap of those absconding from duty.
“The Ministry of Health has been directed to advertise vacancies for the immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed.”
The government insisted that the NLC strike has disrupted key economic activities in the state which have no connection to the NLC demands, including banks and hospitals.
In Tuesday’s statement, the state government said reports from Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital disclosed that some identified nurses disconnected the oxygen supply of a two-month-old baby in an incubator on Monday.
The statement added that the names of the three nurses from the Special Baby Care Unit (SBCU) who were involved in this despicable act have been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for attempted murder or murder “in the event we lose the baby.”
Meanwhile, thugs disrupted an NLC rally led by labour leader, Chief Ayuba Wabba on Tuesday.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Wabba said he informed the Department of State Services after he received earlier information of the plan to disrupt the protest.
“Today is a very sad moment in the history of democracy in Nigeria,” he said. “Early in the morning today, we got credible information that El-Rufai has hired one Alhaji Hassan and some thugs to come and attack us.
“While we were here, they came but thank God we have chased them away because we have the number. We are not thugs and we are not using thugs. We are Nigerian workers.”
Meanwhile, Mr Wabba has been declared wanted by the Kaduna State government.
Read the full statement from Mr. Adekeye:
DSG will not tolerate criminal acts disguised as industrial action
Today, the Kaduna State Government reviewed the sundry criminal actions that have defined the campaign of economic and social sabotage and lawlessness waged by the NLC. KDSG considers as unacceptable the serial violations of the Miscellaneous Offences Act and the Trade Union Act that have occurred over the last two days. The state government commends citizens for remaining calm amidst this assault on their rights and comfort and their businesses.
However, KDSG cannot be expected to tolerate the brazen shutdown of electricity, attack on public infrastructure and buildings, locking up hospitals and forcefully discharging patients, unlawful trespass into public facilities and the wanton use of coercion and restraints of personal freedom by the NLC.
Efforts to dress up criminal activity as industrial action do not change the reality of lawbreaking that has unfolded, including their persistently ignoring the prohibition against impeding essential services. Also, KDSG cannot ignore the illegal pressures brought to disrupt the operations of banks and other private business whose staff and customers do not have any industrial dispute with the state or any other government.
KDSG acknowledges doctors and some other categories of health workers that are trying to run public health facilities, but regrets that some nurses have joined the unlawful strike and engaged in sabotage of some of our health facilities. Nurses were implicated in the forceful discharge of patients in many health facilities.
Reports from Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital disclosed that some identified nurses disconnected the oxygen supply of a two-month old baby in an incubator on Monday, 17th May 2021. The names of the three nurses from the Special Baby Care Unit (SBCU) who were involved in this despicable act have been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for attempted murder or murder in the event we lose the baby.
In addition, KDSG has decided the following:
Ayuba Wabba and his senior confederates in the NLC are declared wanted, and will be vigorously prosecuted for violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, the Miscellaneous Offences and the Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Acts. They are advised to report to the Ministry of Justice and the Police Headquarters to take their statements;
The Ministry of Health will dismiss all nurses below GL 14 for going on an unlawful strike. Salaries that could have gone to them are to be given as extraordinary occupational allowances to the health workers who are at their duty posts to fill the gap of those absconding from duty. The Ministry of Health has been directed to advertise vacancies for the immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed;
Any academic staff of KASU that does not report for work will be dismissed. The authorities of KASU are to submit a copy of the attendance register for all categories of staff daily to the Secretary to the State Governemnt and the Commissioner of Education. All MDAs are also to submit daily copies of attendance register to the Head of Service;
KDSG views the actions of the NLC as equivalent to the actions of the bandits kidnapping and menacing our citizens. Bandits illegally use arms, but the NLC is deploying mob action for exactly the same ends: trying to hold hostage the freedoms, economic interests, livelihoods and resources of the people of Kaduna State. It is a vain expectation that this government will respond differently to sets of unlawful actions that have the same ends.
KDSG will not submit its treasury to the entitled minority. We will reform and rightsize our public service to meet the needs and resources of the Kaduna State even if the NLC strikes ad infinitum. The government remains committed to using all the resources it can generate to serve the interests of the majority of its citizens, providing social services beyond paying salaries, and putting the many ahead of the few.
Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication)
18th May 2021