Members of branches of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) in Edo and Jigawa states on Monday closed the House of Assembly complexes over agitation for financial autonomy of the state legislature.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the association blocked the doors of the assembly complexes, thereby denying lawmakers access to the facilities in the respective states.
Speaking to journalists, the Edo State Chairman of PASAN, Umaru Haruna, said the National Chairman of the association, Mohammed Usman, had directed all chairmen and secretaries to mobilize members for maximum participation in the protest.
Haruna said PASAN had given a two-day ultimatum to the governors of the 36 states of the federation to implement autonomy in all Houses of Assembly across the country before the start of the protest.
He noted that the ultimatum was extended for another week and ended on October 7.
“The question of autonomy is a constitutional question. You know it was passed by the National Assembly and approved by the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari.
“All we need is for the government to start implementing it. But as we speak today, nothing has been done.
“We are not only fighting for PASAN; We are fighting to deepen democracy for Nigerians,” he stated.
According to him, the essence of the separation of powers is when autonomy is in operation.
“What we see today is that the governors do what they want and no one asks them questions,” said the president of PASAN.
Jigawa assembly closes
PASAN President Umar Adamu said the action was in line with the nationwide strike undertaken by the association.
He said that although the state chapter enjoyed almost 80 percent financial autonomy, it had to join the strike in solidarity with others.
“This is because we get our fund directly from the treasury, we have an assembly service commission with its president, secretary and other members.
“What we demand here in Jigawa is the implementation of our new salary structure, special allowances and a retirement period of 40 years instead of 35, which are still pending,” he said.
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Nura Idris, PASAN’s ex-officio national representative, northwest zone, said the association was monitoring its members’ compliance with the strike.
He said the strike was necessary due to non-implementation of financial autonomy of the State Houses of Assembly.
“This is after we previously held a 21-day warning strike which we extended by one week,” he said.
Furthermore, Awwal Yakubu, chancellor of the state Public Complaints Commission (PCC), said they joined the strike in solidarity with PASAN.
“The PCC is under the National Assembly, so we are under the same umbrella, hence the need for us to come together in solidarity,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that workers also closed the Jigawa State House of Assembly Service Commission, situated in the new state secretariat complex.