Kaduna strike: FG moves to avert nationwide blackout


By Joan Nwagwu

The Federal Government said it has waded into ongoing strike in Kaduna following threats by workers in the power sector to tamper with electricity supply and throw the entire country into darkness.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige  said this in a statement signed by Mr Charles Akpan, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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 4000 workers by the Kaduna state government.

Ngige appealed to the Kaduna state Governor, Malam Nasir El ‘Rufai, President of the NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba and the President of the TUC, Mr 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 labour centres 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.

The minister also appealed to all workers on essential duties, including doctors and nurses not to join the strike.

He added that, 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.