The minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has appealed to the Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and the president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye to immediately cease-fire.
In a statement signed by the ministry’s spokesperson Charles Akpan on Tuesday, the minister said the federal government has waded into the ongoing strike and picketing in Kaduna State by the organised labour.
“We are not unaware of what is going on in Kaduna state. It is a labour issue that has snowballed into a national strike and picketing by the two labour centres and affiliate unions.
“We hope and also urge Governor El-Rufai not to escalate matters to such a level where it becomes uncontrollable.
”We also appeal to leaders of the labour centres to step down the action to make way for discussions.
“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.
“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 Minister of Power that workers have threatened to trigger a nationwide blackout by interfering or switching off the national grid,” Mr Ngige said.
The NLC and the TUC had embarked on a five-day warning strike that commenced on Monday over the sack of 4,000 workers by the Kaduna state government.