Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria on Tuesday staged protests nationwide, paralysing legislative activities in the state Assemblies as members started an indefinite strike.
The workers protested against the refusal of the state government to implement financial autonomy for the legislature.
In Gombe, PASAN declined the Speaker, Abubakar Luggerewo, and others entry to the Assembly.
The state PASAN chairman, Mohammed Dukku, said, “This action is following the refusal of the state government to implement financial autonomy for the legislature as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.
“After exhausting all avenues to get to the government to obey the provisions of the constitution and not getting response, the PASAN leadership has directed us to go on indefinite strike.”
In Rivers State, the parliamentary workers blocked the entrance of the State House of Assembly and erected canopies in front of the assembly and used banners and posters across the gate of the complex, preventing entry and exit.
They also displayed placards, danced and sang solidarity songs along Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, where the complex is situated.
The Chairman, PASAN, Rivers State chapter, Comfort Osuene, said, “We know that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. So if the legislature keeps going cap –in-hand for approval for money, then the executive will continue to control the legislature.”
Also, members of PASAN in Ogun State on Tuesday shut the state Assembly.
The state Chairman of PASAN, James Obanla, said the financial autonomy, when fully implemented, would enhance the business of government and also provide room for separation of power.
The Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, said the governors were not opposed to financial autonomy for the legislature.
He said, “We are getting towards the implementation of the financial autonomy, the conference of speakers have met with the governors and they are all in support of the autonomy.”
Similarly in Oyo State, the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, said PASAN strike was a laudable course.
The Speaker spoke while addressing the protesting state Assembly workers at the main entrance of the Parliament Building, Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan.
He said, “Let me also say that, the Speakers’ Forum will not relent until financial autonomy is achieved.”
Also, PASAN members in Osun State on Tuesday barricaded entrance to the state Assembly.
The Osun State Chairman of the association, Mr Adesina Adekunle, urged Osun state governor, Adegboyega Oyetola to “implement the Executive Order 10 which provides financial autonomy for the state assembly in the state in the interest of democracy.”
Exercise restrain – Speakers’ Forum chair
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Abubakar Suleiman, has appealed to PASAN members to exercise more restraint assuring that the issues that led them to declare the indefinite strike are being finalized.
Suleiman who is also the Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, in a statement by his spokesman, Abdul Burra, said, “For couple of weeks, I have been leading leadership of the Speakers Conference to meetings with the Nigeria Governors Forum and Chief of Staff to the President to finalize the implementation framework.
“I want to assure PASAN that in a matter of weeks, the final modalities will be put in place which will signal the implementation of the financial autonomy.”