The National Assembly was thrown into pandemonium on Tuesday when the Assembly staff shut lawmakers out of the premises in protest of accumulated unpaid salaries and other entitlements.
National Daly gathered that the administrative staff, under the aegis of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, chanting ‘aluta’ songs, blocked the entrance to both Chambers of the National Assembly.
They were said to be protesting unpaid wages and lack of proper promotion. The administrative staff of the federal legislature claimed some of them they are being owed salaries since 2010; they alleged that funds meant for training were being diverted.
Displaying banners and placards, some of the workers were chanting “no pay, no sitting”.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, on arrival at the Assembly was said to denied entrance into the Senate chamber; while the protesting workers chanted “no sitting” louder. The angry staff were said to have resisted the Senate President from addressing them.
However, the management of the National Assembly were said to have acknowledged that all the issues raised by the workers are being addressed. In a letter signed by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, the management promised to engage the workers on all the issues they had raised.
“The management of the National Assembly under my watch has established an open channel for interfacing with PASAN (Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria) to utilise this channel always and reciprocate this gesture,” the letter read in part.
Omolori denied the allegation that workers’ promotion letters are being withheld by the management but merely investigating breaches to established guidelines for promotion, upgrading and conversion of officers.
He added that promotion to the next salary grade level and rank is a privilege for deserving staff who have fulfilled all conditions per cent.
Defence Minister directs Buratai to remain In North-East until security improves
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has directed the Chief of Defence Staff, Tukur Buratai, to remain in the North-East until security situation improves in the turbulent region.
The Public Relations Officer of the Minister, Tukur Gusau, in a statement indicated that the Defence Minister issued the directive when he met with the Chief of Army Staff and other Service Chiefs in his office.
The Minister also directed the General Officer Commanding 8 Division to relocate his Tactical Headquarters from Sokoto State to Zamfara and to oversee the conduct of Operation Sharan Daji.
Dan Ali ordered the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Army Staff to effect changes in the operational commands of Operations Delta Safe in the Niger Delta, Lafia Dole in the North East, Sharan Daji in Zamfara and Katsina states and Awatse in the South-west.
Dan-Ali explained that “this is to enable them meet up with the current threats and security challenges in their areas of responsibility.”
The Minister further explained that, “The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has also directed the emergency procurement of critical equipment for the armed forces in line with the Federal Government policy of procuring equipment from Original Equipment Manufacturers through government to government basis.”
He declared that the President has directed the enhancement of the welfare of troops, particularly, those serving in operational areas within the country.