By; BENEDICT SUNDAY, Kaduna
In spite draconian faces of stern looking military, police and other security operatives, Kaduna, the defunct capital of old northern region, was on, Thursday grounded totally by what has been described by many as ‘mother of all protests’ in history of the state.
Peaceful, the week-long planned protest was organized and headed by the national officers of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), against consistent sacking of civil servants through the harsh policies of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, including teachers.
NLC, NUT and other sister Union bodies had, early morning of Thursday, assembled its members in Kaduna secretariat of NLC, located at independence way, under the eagles eyes of heavily armed military and police operatives mobilized by the state government to stop the Union from holding the rally.
Although there were series of threat and harsh trading of words between security personnel and the union members who appeared held hostage.
The war of words which involved Kaduna CP, tensed up, with labour later defying all the security intimidations to carry out the protest.
To enforce the protest, the aggrieved protesting workers took off with stone face from their secretariat in colony of almost a kilometer to Kaduna State Government House with unprecedented crowd, chanting all sorts of songs and insult, and placards bearing various inscriptions.
So intimidating, that, rather than putting up some form of repel attacks against the crowd as planned, the military, police and other security operatives had to accompany the protesters to their government house destination peacefully through warf raod or Muhammadu Buhari way. Business activities, motorists and pedestrian movement by Kaduna residents were serious obstructed and effected from morning time to the end.
Over twenty thousand women and men, old and young, Muslims and Christians were received by Governor El-Rufai’s Councilor, information and strategy, Mr. Saidu Adamu, at government house on behalf of the governor.
Addressing the furious looking crowd, Adamu said government would take a look into the demand of the President of NLC, Ayuba Wabah, on it’s decision on sack workers.
The Councilor also reminded protesting unionists, who came from across the 36 states and Abuja, to note that the workers need government as much as government need workers to synergies and move the state forward.
Earlier, the NLC President reminded Saidu Adamu that they only allowed him to addressed the protesters, based on personal respect they had for him as a person, adding that going by protocol, he’s not the rights person to do so.
Personalities including Isah Aremu, Kaduna NLC Chairman and other labour leaders from states and national officers participated in the rally, which recorded no casualty, despite allegations of weapons found in possession of some thugs at the NLC secretariat by police.