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Unemployed graduates storm Govt House

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Unemployed graduates on Monday stormed the State House in Lafia, Nasarawa state capital after Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura decided to replace striking civil servants with jobless youths.

Thousands of jobless youths invaded the Government House with their curriculum vitae (CVs) expressing their readiness to take the place of the workers who down-tooled.

The jobless graduates joined other people who took to the streets protesting against the strike action embarked upon by the joint labour union in Nasarawa state.

The protesters criticised the striking civil servants of selfishness and failure to reason with the State government’s decision for a downward assessment of salaries in the face of the current economic challenges.

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One Comrade Musa Yusuf who spoke on behalf of the protesters said, “If striking workers are not ready to accept the changes, we the unemployed graduates in the state are fully ready and willing to take over from them.

“For the avoidance of doubt, all of us here are with our CVs and other relevant documents to hand over to the governor in the event that vacancies arise.”

During the protest, the deputy governor Silas Agara spoke to the large crowd on behalf of the state governor. Agara stated that civil servants in Nasarawa state were collecting three times their due salaries and urged them to make the required sacrifice for the common wealth of the entire people of Nasarawa.

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The deputy governor observed that the salary evaluation implemented by the government was not against the Minimum Wage Act. One Mr Abubakar Ubandoma led the trade and civil society coalition.

Ubandoma submitted on behalf of the coalition stating that there was no basis for the organised labour unions to go on an indefinite strike based on the current economic problems the country is passing through.

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Ubandoma said: “As you can see, different groups across the state are here to tell you that we are solidly behind the state government’s decision on the downward review of workers salary across the state and we believe that this was due to the dwindling economy and the need to take care of other aspects of the economy.

“If any worker will not return back to work, it means such worker is insensitive and unpatriotic because they have been enjoying national minimum wage since 2011 when the economy was good, so we appeal to them to return to work.”

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