Deji Elumoye and Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
As the workers of the National Assembly under the aegis of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) yesterday shut down the assembly complex, the leadership of the two legislative chambers has directed the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to ensure adequate security within the vicinity of the complex from today to enable members and staff come in and perform their legitimate duties without any hindrance.
The workers who are demanding mainly the payment of arrears of 28 per cent increase in their salaries from 2010, stormed the National Assembly in the early hours of yesterday blocking all entrances into the complex, preventing lawmakers, their aides and visitors from accessing it.
The workers also cut off essential services like power and water supply, effectively crippling any form of activity within the premises.
In response, the leadership of the two legislative chambers has directed the Police and the DSS to ensure adequate security within the vicinity of the complex from today to enable members and staff come in and perform their legitimate duties without any hindrance
According to a statement issued last night by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sanni Omolori, the directive was passed after a meeting of the joint leadership of the two chambers with the management and representatives of the security agencies.
The meeting was called by the political leadership to listen to the management led by the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA) on efforts made so far to address the grievances of the striking staff.
“The leadership of the National Assembly called the meeting because they know that almost all the issues raised by the striking workers were being addressed by the management. And after listening to the CNA, it was unanimously agreed that the management had made sufficient plans and efforts to address all the grievances of the workers and ensure their happiness.
“We were sure that the issues raised by the workers have been well attended to and that it is necessary for the business of the National Assembly to continue without any disturbance. Both chambers must hold their normal plenary tomorrow morning to prepare the ground for the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 to present the budget proposal to the joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“We have therefore mandated the security agencies to perform their duty of maintaining law and order in the National Assembly Complex and its surrounding. They must enforce the laws which allow the striking workers to down tools if they choose to and also the ones which restrain them from disturbing those who choose to work or stop parliamentarians from entering the chambers or their offices to do the work for which they were elected.”
“Senators and members of the House of Representatives, their aides, other workers and people who have legitimate business within the National Assembly Complex are therefore advised to come in as they will be free to operate without any hinderance and molestation.
“If the President Buhari is unable to present the budget proposal on Wednesday as scheduled Nigerians should hold the security agencies responsible for failing in their the performance of their duties”, the leadership of the federal legislature stated.