The Kaduna State government Tuesday sacked lecturers and nurses in the state for withdrawing their services in compliance with the ongoing five-day warning strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to protest the mass sacking of workers in the state.
A statement issued by the governor’s special adviser on media and communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, said that the Ministry of Health had been directed to advertise vacancies for the immediate recruitment of new nurses to replace those dismissed.
According to the statement, the nurses disconnected oxygen from a two-day-old baby in an incubator at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital in order to join the strike.
The statement said apart from referring the nurses involved to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution, the government also announced the dismissal of all nurses below Grade Level 14 for joining in the strike, which it declared illegal.
It further noted that the state government had directed all its ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to submit their attendance registers to the head of service while Kaduna State University should submit the same to the secretary to the state government (SSG) and the commissioner for 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 are at their duty posts to fill the gap of those absconding from duty.
The statement acknowledged doctors and some other categories of health workers that are trying to run public health facilities ‘’but regrets that some nurses have joined the unlawful strike and engaged in sabotage of some of our health facilities. Nurses were implicated in the forceful discharge of patients in many health facilities.’’
The government also warned that any academic staff member of aKaduna State University (KASU) that does not report for work would be dismissed.
It warned that it ‘’will not tolerate the brazen shutdown of electricity, attack on public infrastructure and buildings, locking up hospitals and forcefully discharging patients.’’
The special adviser likened the actions of the NLC to those of the bandits kidnapping and terrorising people in the state.
“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 Ayuba Wabba and his senior confederates in the NLC had been “declared wanted, and will be vigorously prosecuted for violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, the Miscellaneous Offences and the Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Acts.”
The statement advised Wabba and his cohorts to report to the Ministry of Justice and the police headquarters.