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El-Rufai lauds doctors, says he would have died

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- NLC warns gov against deductions from workers’ pay for palliative

Kaduna State Governor Nasiru El-Rufai has said that he would have died of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while on isolation, if not for doctors; hence he commended the team of doctors who treated him.

El-Rufai, during a radio Hausa programme in Kaduna yesterday warned that CIVID-19 was nobody’s friend, so could strike where it was least expected.

His words, “Despite the security around me, I got the virus. This goes to show that the virus does not recognise any personality.

“I am truly ageing, a few steps above 60, and this disease is not kind to the aged. That is the danger. If one is above 50, one should be very careful not to contract the virus. To an aged person with other health complications like diabetes and hypertension, coronavirus will be very deadly.”

Giving account on how he survived the virus, the governor said, “I could have died if not for my doctors. I followed their instructions strictly and took my medications. My wives collaborated with the deputy governor and seized my phones while I was in isolation. I was only left with an iPad.”

Still not sure of where he picked the virus, the governor said, “I was in Abuja and had interacted with many people, some from overseas. I was assigned to chair committees by the government. I believe it was from these interactions that I got the virus.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna State has rejected the deduction of 25 per cent from salaries of senior civil servants in the state to swell the COVID-19 fund, asking the el-Rufai-led government to return the funds or face ire of the union.

Kaduna government had last weekend announced that it would deduct 25 per cent from salaries of civil servants to provide palliatives for the vulnerable citizens under the COVID-19 lockdown.

Addressing a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, the state’s NLC chairman, Ayuba Suleiman, asked the government to stop the deduction henceforth and return the ones already deducted.

Suleiman argued that the deduction ought to have been done with the consent of the labour union and made a voluntary donation, rather than forceful deduction.

“Sequel to the deduction of 25 per cent on the salary of all civil servants in Kaduna, effective from April 2020, labour in Kaduna unequivocally rejects this deduction. This is because the union was not consulted on the issue nor consented to the deduction,” he said.

According to him, Article 8 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Protection of Wages Convention, 1949, (No.95) provides that deduction from wages shall be permitted only under conditions and to the extent prescribed by the national laws or regulations or fixed by collective agreement or arbitration award.


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