Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has said the strikes and protests embarked on by both the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) won’t stop the government decision on the sack of teachers and other workers in the state.
The governor said the state government has already made provisions for their severance package.
El-Rufai spoke with State House correspondents after seven Northern governors met with President Muhammadu Buhari after the Friday Juma’at service at the State House Mosque, Abuja.
The governors who met President Buhari behind closed-door were – Abubakar Bello (Niger), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Jibrilla Bindo (Adamawa) and Simeon Lalong (Plateau).
He said: “There is nothing to step back on. It’s a well thought out position we took one and half years before we made the decision and we will not change it.
“We have announced that in line with the public service rule, we will pay three- month severance pay 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 reserve land available and for those that want to go into trade, we have micro credit to support them. But if they are not suitable as teachers they can do other things and the government will do other things to support them.”
On allegations that he directed police to stop workers marching to government house on Thursday to protest the alleged sack of about 21,000 teachers in the state, the governor said the right to protest was guaranteed in the constitution and that he was not in the state that day.
He added: “I did not direct the police to stop the workers, I was not even in Kaduna. For me the right to protest is guaranteed in the constitution provided you don’t go violent and you don’t violate any laws.
“I think the concerns of the police are because the precarious situation in the country particularly in Kaduna made it unsuitable to have such protest. And the last time they did such a thing they attacked the State House of Assembly.”