By Maureen Ikpeama
Federal Government has waded into the ongoing strike and protests in Kaduna State by organized labour.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, made this known in a statement signed by Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Charles Akpan, on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had embarked on a five-day warning strike that commenced on Monday, over sack of 4,000 workers by Kaduna State Government.
Ngige appealed to Governor Nasir El ‘Rufai, President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba and the President of the TUC, Quadiri Olaleye, to immediately cease fire.
“We are not unaware of what is going on in Kaduna State. It is a labour issue which has snowballed into a national strike and picketing by the two labour centres and affiliate unions.
“We hope and also urge the Kaduna State Governor not to escalate matters to such a level where it becomes uncontrollable.
”We also appeal to leaders of the labourcentres to step down action to make way for discussion.
“My ministry is wading into the matter and therefore calls on the warring parties to give peace a chance,” he said.
Ngige also appealed to all workers on essential duties, including doctors and nurses not to join the strike.
“Importantly, I appeal to workers in critical sectors not to tamper with electrical or water installations so as not to bring more sufferings to the people of Kaduna State and the nation at large.
“This is because we have it on good authority, following complaints by the Minster of Power that workers have threatened to trigger a nationwide blackout by interfering or switching off the national grid,” Ngige said.