THE Joint Action Front (JAF) has called for a solidarity national strike to compel Kaduna State government to reverse its anti-people and anti-labour policies.
A press statement jointly signed by Dr. Dipo Fashina, JAF Chairperson, and Comrade Abiodun Aremu, JAF Secretary, criticised Governor el-Rufai for taking the path of violence as a response to the legitimate demands of the NLC and the affected workers.
JAF commends NLC leadership and the workers in general for “their principled defiance” in the face of threats and actual violence unleashed by sponsored thugs facilitated by the state government.
“The attacks unleashed against the peaceful protest marches and defenceless workers since the commencement of the popular strike is despicable and criminal and Governor El-Rufai should be held responsible for the current state of anarchy he is bent on foisting on the state by pitting other categories of workers and working people against workers in the services of the Kaduna State Government, based on his malicious and spurious propaganda of the shares of revenues in the state.
“JAF enjoins the NLC, the sacked workers and the entire Nigerian workers not to be deterred by the threat of further attacks and illegal imposition of measures being recklessly pronounced by Governor El-Rufai, but rather, the leadership of the NLC should be encouraged to call an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting with a view to declaring a nationwide strike and mass protest of the working people and oppressed masses.
“JAF wants to reiterate that the demand by the NLC for the unconditional recall of all the over 30,000 (recently and before) sacked workers should be in focus, in addition, to insisting on the full implementation of the national minimum wage and the reversal of all anti-labour policies and anti-poor measures in Kaduna State. The demands of the nationwide strike and protest we are proposing should include rejection of any planned increase in fuel prices and electricity tariff and anti-poor policies of Buhari government and the general state of insecurity.
“JAF urges the Nigerian working people and the poor to disregard the desperate and illegal declaration of the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, wanted by El-Rufai…
“Equally, JAF demands that the Inspector General of Police and the Kaduna Commissioner of Police stand culpable and indicted for the degeneration of the peaceful protests by workers into violence. The police from documentary evidence available, rather than protect the peaceful protest from the Hell Rufai’s recruited thugs, joined forces with the thugs to destabilise the protests with their indiscriminate shootings, but for the large turnout of the organised mass of workers, whose courageous and commendable resistance defied and overcame the violence.
“We in JAF take serious note that the El-Rufai’s violence attack on workers has once more brought to the fore the consistent demand by JAF on why the NLC and the organised labour should be resolved to organise and mobilize the Nigerian workers along the line of working class ideological direction in the struggle to end the policies of neoliberalism that are manifested in privatisation, deregulation, dependence on IMF and World Bank policies, which are the driving forces of retrenchment of the workforce, mass unemployment, general state of insecurity, lack of commitment by Government to the welfare of the majority of the people, etc.
“Therefore, JAF urges all the organisations of the working people and the oppressed poor across the country to join forces with the NLC, not only in the ongoing workers’ struggle in Kaduna State but to be prepared to sensitise and mobilize Nigerians in their various constituencies on the urgent necessity to unite & organise on a nationwide struggle for system change!”