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Parliamentary workers ground state Assemblies over financial autonomy

From Clement A. Oloyede (Kano), Ibrahim Baba Saleh (Damaturu), Peter Moses (Abeokuta), Ado Abubakar Musa (Jos), Adama John (Lokoja), Tijjani Ibrahim (Katsina), Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan),…

From Clement A. Oloyede (Kano), Ibrahim Baba Saleh (Damaturu), Peter Moses (Abeokuta), Ado Abubakar Musa (Jos), Adama John (Lokoja), Tijjani Ibrahim (Katsina), Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan), Bola Ojuola (Akure), Bassey Willie (Yenagoa) & Haruna Gimba Yaya (Gombe)
Parliamentary workers yesterday grounded legislative activities in state Houses of Assembly across the country, demanding the immediate implementation of financial autonomy.

Under the umbrella of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), the workers sealed the entrances of the state Houses of Assembly across the country. The protest was held 10 months after President Muhammadu Buhari signed an Executive Order for autonomy for the state judiciaries and legislatures.

Buhari had in May 2020 signed into law an Executive Order 10 to grant financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the country.

The order also mandates the accountant-general of the federation to deduct from source, amounts due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.

In Kano, parliamentary workers on Tuesday blocked all access to the state’s Assembly complex to drive home the demand for the implementation of the financial autonomy.

Speaking to newsmen, Mr Ubale Yusuf, the PASAN chairman in Kano State, said, “Despite the court order, the governors are yet to comply and implement the autonomy. Therefore, we have no option than to embark on an indefinite strike to call their attention,’’ he said.

In Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, the Assembly complex was also sealed. The PASAN chairman in the state, Comrade Zanna Ali, who led the protest, said they would not allow the House of Assembly members to sit if their demand was not addressed.

It was a similar scenario in Ogun State as legislative activities were grounded by members of the PASAN. The chairman of the association in the state, James Obanla, said the strike was indefinite

Addressing the protesting workers, the Speaker of the state Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo,  said the governors were not opposed to financial autonomy for legislature, but modalities for the implementation remained the major issue.

“We are getting towards the implementation of the financial autonomy. The Conference of Speakers has met with the governors and they are all in support of autonomy for the legislature,’’ he said.

Similarly, parliamentary staff yesterday grounded activities at the Gombe State House of Assembly over the same issue.

Addressing newsmen, the chairman of the state chapter of the PASAN, Muhammad Bello Dukku, said governors must be compelled to implement the autonomy.

Also, the chairman of the association in Plateau State, Marry Komga, said the decision to shut down legislative activities was their last option. She said they would only open the gate if they got a directive from their national secretariat to do so.

In Katsina, the action of the union has paralysed the 2021 budget defence exercise of the 34 local government areas.

Angry parliamentary workers also held the protest in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State.

They displayed placards with various inscriptions such as, “Implement the presidential order on financial autonomy to the legislature; Please respect the rule of law. No autonomy, No democracy. We need the independence of the legislature.’’

In Oyo, Ondo, Kogi and other states, similar scenarios played out.


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