—Backs Labour’s opposition to ‘illegal’ sack
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
A group of lawyers under the aegis of The International Lawyers Assisting Workers, ILAW, has called on all its members across the country to mobilise to Kaduna to render services as may be required by circumstances to sacked workers in the Kaduna state employ by the state government.
The group also said that it was in total support to for the proposed protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress in Kaduna State starting on Monday, May 17, 2021.
The ILAW in a statement it issued on Friday, described the decision of the Kaduna State Goverment as ill-informed, uncharitable, defective and counter-productive.
The statement was signed by Adesina Oke, Femi Aborisade, Jessica Jaja, Benson Upah and Onyeisi Chiemeke on behalf of the association.
The statement titled, “We are with Nigeria Labour Congress”, read in part: “We members of the International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) condemn in strong terms the sacking of workers in Kaduna State and the threat by the State Goverment to sack more workers in the coming days.
“The conduct of the government is an affront to law, morality and well-being of the affected workers with grave security implications for the entire country.
“The mass sack and proposed sack are defective legally and procedurally in light of the terms and conditions governing their employment and disengagement.
“We are afraid, the motivations of the Kaduna State Goverment are ill-informed, uncharitable, defective and counter-productive.”
Continuing, ILAW said, “Violations of our extant labour laws on this scale not only trivialise our democracy but constitute an invitation to anarchy especially in light of the fact that the already disengaged workers have not been paid their terminal benefits, neither is there any plan to pay those to follow.
“The indescribable hardship this foists on the workers in this era of multiple denials, is better left to the imagination.
“It is an obvious fact that it is not only on these workers that the burden of survival rests but their numerous dependants as well as those whose economic activities and daily subsistence rest on the working class.
“We are appalled by this level of recklessness, insensitivity and lawlessness.
“We had thought that some lessons have been learnt from the purges of the Murtala Muhammed regime of the ’70s which laid the foundation of the destruction of the civil service in the country from which it is yet to recover.
“Progressive or insightful governments around the world in this covid era are focused on saving or creating jobs and not destroying existing ones.”
The group urged the State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai “to avert his mind to this truth by recalling unfairly sacked workers as well as put on hold further mass sack, else he would have unwittenly written himself into the history of the damned.”
It further said, “In pursuance of this, we declare our unequivocal support for the protest/strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress in Kaduna State starting on Monday, May 17 2021.
“We accordingly urge our members across the country to mobilise to Kaduna to render services as may be required by circumstances.”