Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue parliamentary workers shutdown assembly, join nationwide strike

From Teryima Ajijah, Jos; Esther Akaa, Lafia; and Sunday Iduh, Makurdi

Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), working at the Plateau State House of Assembly hindered legislative proceedings on Tuesday at the House with mass protest.

The workers shutdown the state assembly complex in protest against non-implementation of legislative financial autonomy.

PASAN Chairman in Plateau state,
Mrs Mary Komga, while addressing members at the assembly entrance said that the action to shut down the legislative activities was the last option.

“This action is necessitated by the non-implementation of financial autonomy to parliamentary staff in Nigeria.

“The autonomy is provided for in Nigeria Constitution, Section 121(3) and the Presidential Order 10, 2020, directed its implementation.

“Nothing was done since the presidential order. We wrote to concerned authorities demanding its implementation but there is no positive response.

“We gave them 21 days, 14 days and seven days ultimatum, respectively, but still they did not implement it.

“Three weeks ago, we protested to the National Assembly and informed them that if it was not implemented, we would shut down legislative activities in the country,” she stated.

Komga told her colleagues that the assembly gate would remain closed until something positive was done.

The workers who dressed in their association’s robes as they marched to the assembly complex, carried placards with different inscriptions.

Protesting PASAN members at the Nasarawa House of Assembly.

Relatedly, the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Nasarawa State Chapter has shut down the state House of Assembly Complex in compliance with the nationwide strike by the association.

The workers were displaying placards with inscriptions such as “No Autonomy, No Work,” “Governors Respect Separation of power and the Rule of Law,” “Financial Autonomy is Non Negotiable” among others.

The State Chairman of PASAN,  Comrade Danlami Iliyasu, while addressing members on Tuesday in Lafia said that the gate to the state  Assembly would remain locked until their demands are met.

He called on to the 36 state governors to respect the Executive Order 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari and implement the financial autonomy for state Houses of Assembly.

“We have respected and  joined the strike as directed by PASAN national body. The gate of this Assembly will remain closed until we receive another directive from our national body.

“As long as we did not receive any further directives from the National body, the gate will remain closed.

“Financial autonomy is constitutional and we want to appeal to governors to respect Executive Order 10 on financial autonomy as signed by President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.

On his part, National Treasurer of PASAN, Comrade Umar Kasim said  that the indefinite strike embarked upon by members of the union in the state was a directive from PASAN national leadership.

“This strike is a nation wide strike called upon by our national leadership  over non implementation of financial autonomy by governors.

“We want to appeal to governors to implement the financial autonomy, Executive Order 10 for state Houses of Assembly,” he said.

The national treasurer who was deployed to the state to ensure total compliance with the strike however, assured that members of the association would be peaceful while the strike lasts.

The Voice reports that the Clerk of the House of Assembly, Mr Ego Maikeffi, who arrived at the House for the day’s work was vehemently chased away by the protesting workers.

It would be recalled that PASAN in Nasarawa State last week hinted that the union would join the nationwide indefinite strike due to the non implementation of financial autonomy for state assemblies.

Protesting staff at the Benue State House of Assembly in Makurdi.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Benue State chapter too has joined the nationwide indefinite strike as a result of the non implementation of financial autonomy for state assemblies.

Members of the union who gathered as early as 8:00am shut both the entrance to the assembly and the exit, preventing the Speaker and members from entering the assembly complex. They displayed different placards with various inscription such as, “no autonomy no legislation,” “Implement Executive order 10 now,” “End selective implementation of rule of law,” We say no to continuous violation of the constitution” among others to press home their demands.

Speaking on behalf of the Assembly staff, Chairman, PASAN, Francis Adole said, “we have waited patiently for about two years for the Executive order 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari to be implemented but to no avail hence the strike”

Adole said the strike would remain indefinite until their demands are met and presented a letter containing their request to the speaker for onward transmission to the relevant authority.

PASAN Chairman, Francis Adole, (R) handing over their demands to the Speaker, Titus Uba.

Addressing the staff, Speaker, Titus Uba said discussions were ongoing between the forum of speakers and that of governors forum on how to resolve the issue after which a template would be made available for implementation.

Uba expressed hope that the matter would be addressed soon to enable them resume their legislative activities and enjoined them to ensure a peaceful protest.

The national body of PASAN had in a statement issued 18 March, 2021 and signed by its National President, Comrade Usman Mohammed and Acting Secretary, Comrade Ikechukwu Alaribe, revealed that the nationwide strike would commence on Monday, 22 March, 2021.

The statement read: “Further to our recent letters of ultimatum on the non implementation of Financial Autonomy Act and Presidential order 10.2020, the National Executive Council of PASAN hereby directs the union to embark upon an indefinite Industrial strike action by midnight of Monday 22nd, March 2021.

“Accordingly, all official activities including committee meetings has been suspended. No chapter leadership should engage in any negotiation as all negotiation must be done centrally.”

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