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The shutdown of activities at the Senate chamber by workers attached to the National Assembly has generated controversy.
Workers under the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria had picketed the legislative building early Tuesday morning to protest over unpaid allowances and non-implementation of the Consolidated Salary Structure.
The protesters who were armed with placards prevented the lawmakers from holding any sitting.
Chants of “no sitting, go home” were directed at the lawmakers, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, as they were made to return to their homes and offices.
Senator Shehu Sani who was also caught in the chaos has spoken in defence of the protesters. He said they were well within their rights to protest unpaid entitlements.
“Today the staff of the NASS denied us entry into the chambers in protest for their entitlements. I ran into the protesters chanting solidarity songs,” Sani said Tuesday evening.
Today the staff of the NASS denied us entry into the chambers in protest for their entitlements.I ran into the protesters chanting solidarity songs.They have the right to protest and their demands are legitimate.The leadership of NASS is in talks to resolve the issues squarely.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) December 4, 2018
“They have the right to protest and their demands are legitimate.The leadership of NASS is in talks to resolve the issues squarely.”
Nigerians have expressed shock that the workers at NASS are being owed despite that it receives at least N125 billion annually. The NASS funding from the Federal Government, which includes assembly workers’ salaries, is a first line charge.
Sani had revealed months ago that lawmakers receive N13.5 million monthly as running cost.