Saturday, September 25, 2021

Kaduna strike: Why El-Rufai ordered mass sack of nurses

Kaduna State Government  has announced the  dismissal of nurses below Grade  Level 14 , who joined the ongoing industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state.A statement issued on Tuesday in Kaduna by Muyiwa Adekaye, media aide to Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, said the nurses were dismissed  for alleged dereliction of duty.The government also alleged that some nurses disconnected oxygen from a two-day old baby in an incubator on Monday, May 17, at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital,  when they joined the NLC strike.He said:  “Apart from referring the nurses involved to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution, the government also announced the dismissal for all nurses in the state’s employment  below Grade Level 14 for the illegal strike. “The Ministry of Health has been directed to advertise vacancies for the immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed.”According to him, the government has directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to submit their attendance registers to the Head of Service while  Kaduna State University  should submit same to the Secretary to the State Government and the Commissioner of Education.Adekeye noted that salaries that could have been paid to the dismissed nurses would  be given as extraordinary occupational allowances to the health workers who were at their duty posts to fill the gap for those who joined the strike.He acknowledged doctors and other categories of health workers that tried  to run public health facilities, but regretted that some nurses joined the strike and allegedly engaged in sabotage of some of the state’s  health facilities.“Nurses were implicated in the forceful discharge of patients in many health facilities,’’ he added.Adekeye also said that any academic staff of the state university that did  not report for work would  be dismissed.He added that the state government  “will not  tolerate the brazen shutdown of electricity, attack on public infrastructure and buildings, locking up hospitals and forcefully discharging of  patients.”The special adviser likened the actions of the NLC as equivalent to that of  bandits kidnapping and menacing citizens, saying:  “bandits illegally use arms, but the NLC is deploying mob action for exactly the same ends.”“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,’’ Adekeye said.He reiterated that NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and senior officials of the union had been “declared wanted’ and would be prosecuted for violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, the Miscellaneous Offences and the Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Acts.

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