A leaked audio tape has revealed one of the moments when Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State planned with his officials to frustrate the Nigeria Labour Congress protesters and “neutralise them.”
The 16-minute audio tape, obtained by SaharaReporters on Friday, was believably captured on Tuesday by one of El-Rufai’s kitchen cabinet members.
The audio captured the governor’s anger with the NLC.
El-Rufai and other voices in the tape were caught insinuating that the NLC leaders first camped in Kano State before they reached Kaduna and were mobilised from there by the Kano State government, making a veiled reference to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s officials.
In the tape, the governor was also briefed on the activities of alleged hired thugs and the plan to disrupt the peaceful protest on Wednesday and he was excited about the development.
They also discussed the police personnel whom they accused of giving protection to the NLC protesters and not siding with the state government.
“We pray they come out tomorrow, let them come out. We will mobilise,” one of those with him said.
Answering a phone call believably from the Minister of Transportation. Rotimi Amaechi, as captured in the tape, the governor said, “Oh Amaechi, excellency, how now? Oga sir, how are you doing? Hello, can you hear me?
“Oga sir, I may not be able to come today because I still have a situation on my hands. I think we will have neutralised them by tomorrow or next. I don’t know whether you are still in town.
“Give me today and tomorrow. Let’s plan for Thursday evening. Thursday afternoon, we will be in economic summit. It will be virtual but I will be busy. Thuraday evening will be fine.
“Politicians…nobody wants to confront the unions. I am the only North politician in Nigeria. This whole thing is being financed. They came from Kano right? They brought aides from Kano. They went to Kano.”
El-Rufai had accused his fellow governors of abandoning his administration in its crisis with the Nigeria Labour Congress.
The Punch reported that El-Rufai said this during a virtual meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Wednesday, May 19.
He also accused an unnamed governor of providing mobilisation funds for the NLC to destabilise the northwestern state.
Workers in the state workers had on Monday begun a five-day strike over El-Rufai administration’s retrenchment of 45,000 workers and his alleged anti-labour policies.
Addressing fellow governors at the meeting, he said, “I would like to inform the forum that one of our colleagues, a state governor actually gave the NLC money to come to Kaduna to do this because people think everything is politics. This is not politics. This is a monster that will consume all of us. It will not consume Kaduna I’m confident of that.”
When reminded that the NGF issued a statement from the office of the chairman on the subject, El-Rufai replied, “That press release with the greatest respect was unhelpful. It was unhelpful. It said nothing. It was trying to play both sides.”
SaharaReporters on Tuesday reported that hoodlums reportedly loyal to El-Rufai disrupted the peaceful protest embarked upon by the NLC in Kaduna State.
The governor in a tweet had earlier said the labour union leaders were declared wanted for “economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure under Miscellaneous Offences Act.”
He said there would be a “handsome reward” for anyone who knows the whereabouts of the union leaders.
A source said while the protest was going on in Kaduna on Tuesday, some suspected thugs in different vehicles, started stoning the protesters.
The NLC later on Thursday ended the five-day warning strike.