Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday said no amount of protest or industrial action would make him change his administration’s position on the fate of the teachers sacked recently.
He said it took the government over one and a half years before taking the decision, hence there was no going back.
El-Rufai said this in an interview with State House correspondents shortly after joining six other state governors for a meeting with President Muhamamdu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after the Jumat prayers.
He said there was no truth in media reports that he ordered policemen to stop the protest organised by workers over the sacking, saying he was not even in the state as of the time the protest held.
The governor said, “I did not direct the police to stop the workers. I was not even in Kaduna.
“For me, the right to protest is guaranteed in the constitution, provided you don’t go violent and you don’t violate any laws.
“I think the concerns of the police is because of the precarious situation in the country particularly in Kaduna which made it unsuitable to have such protest.
“The last time they did such a thing, they attacked the State House of Assembly, a legislator for which they have filed criminal charges.
“So this is the concern, the concern is for possible break down of law and order and not protest or strike. They are free to do so but it will not change our position.
“There is nothing to step back on. It is a well thought out position. We took one and half years before we made the decision and we will not change it.”
El-Rufai said the state government had announced the severance package of the sacked teachers in line with the public service rule.
He disclosed that the government would pay three months severance and had provided incentives for those that are retiring.
He added that the government had made land available for those that are interested in farming while it will support those who want to go into trade with loans.
He insisted that the affected persons are are suitable as teachers but the government will support them to do other things.
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