The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has urged Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State to return to the negotiation table with Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to prevent the ongoing strike from crippling the state’s economy.
Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, who is the chairman of the forum, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
“The PGF has been following unfolding development between NLC and Kaduna State government over the issue of rightsizing local government employees with deep concerns.
“Noting all the challenges facing all our states, especially given dwindling revenue, we appeal to all patriotic Nigerians, including the NLC, to demonstrate more commitment toward engaging governments at all levels to address problems.
“This is not the time for muscle-flexing,” Mr Bagudu said, saying that Nigerians were already overstretched with many challenges.
“At this critical point of our democratic journey, there could not be limits to engagement between all governments and citizens.”
He said that every step must be taken to resolve the face-off between the state government and NLC.
“We appeal to NLC leadership to recognise that the burden of leadership is more about responding to challenges based on the honest disposition of correcting past mistakes.
“As progressive governors, we share the vision of Kaduna State government of reforming all our local government councils to make them more efficient and consequently the pivot of critical development initiatives.
“At the same time, we want to appeal to the state government under the leadership of our colleague, Malam Nasir El-Rufai to take all necessary steps to ensure the resolution of all disagreements in the larger interest of citizens in Kaduna state,” he said.
Mr Bagudu expressed confidence that both the state government and NLC would resolve all outstanding issues and restore industrial harmony in the state.
The NLC on Monday began a five-day warning strike in Kaduna with Mr El-Rufai reacting by declaring the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, and other leaders of the union wanted for economic sabotage.