Staff of the National Assembly under the aegis of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), have shut lawmakers out of the premises in a protest over unpaid salaries and allowances, vowing not to back down until they received notification of payment.
Bearing placards with inscriptions such as ‘Omolori is a contractor’ ‘killing staff with poor condition of service’ and ‘constitute the National Assembly commission now,’ the workers are complaining against the Clerk of the assembly, Sani Omolori.
Among the demands of the workers is to be put on the Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS) and the release of all pending staff promotions and conversion letters with arrears fully paid on or before Dec.31.
The workers had earlier issued a two-week ultimatum to the management’s nonchalant attitude toward their demands to fulfill their demands or face strike.
The workers, under the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) in their hundreds, have gathered at the lobby of the National Assembly demanding the management to address some of their grievances.
They carried placards with various inscriptions.
They also threaten to scuttle the plenary sessions of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Members of the association had last week during their congress resolved to picket the premises of the federal legislature from today to Thursday on issues bordering on Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS).
They also said both Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, in line with their statutory mandate, should take urgent steps to nominate members of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
They said all pending staff promotions and conversion letters should be released with arrears due fully paid, while the 2018 promotion eligibility list be released and promotion exams conducted on or before December 31 this year.
“After due deliberations on the above crucial issues, congress resolved that in view of management’s apparent continued disregard and unwillingness to address all the above listed issues, the union in compliance with the laws of industrial dispute is hereby demanding the full implementation of the above listed grievances by management within the next two weeks from today.
“Failure to implement the above resolutions on the deadline, which is 13 December, 2018, the union will have no option than to embark on an indefinite strike action from the 14th December, 2018,” PASAN said.
The protesting staff of the National Assembly have vowed to stop the sitting of both chambers starting from Tuesday.
They booed senators and members of the House of Representatives as they arrive for sitting.
The protesting workers shouted: “No alert, no sitting, no alert no sitting” as they denied lawmakers entry into the chambers.
Senators that had to turn back included Adamu Aliero, Ahmed Babba Kaita, Kabiru Marafa and Ibrahim Gobir, while members of the House of Reps such as Ahmed Idris and Yunus Ustaz Abubakar also had to turn back.