Legislative workers shut down Nasarawa, Kano, other state assembly complexes

Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria ( PASAN), in Nasarawa, Kano and other part of the country on Monday joined a nationwide strike of the association to demand for financial autonomy of state legislature across the country.

Suleiman Oshafu, Chairman of the union in Nasarawa, disclosed the support of his union to the cause during a press briefing in Lafia, on Monday.

Oshafu maintained that the strike action was comprehensive, stating that the state governors should adhere to their demands for financial autonomy for State Houses of Assemblies.

“We are here today to embark on a strike over financial autonomy for the State Houses of Assemblies.

“As financial autonomy will promote accountability, transparency and good governance in the country,”.

Oshafu said that President Muhammadu Buhari had signed an Executive order advocating for financial autonomy of state assemblies over the past three years.

In addition to urging members of the association to abide by the strike, Oshafu called for their cooperation until further directives are issued by the national leadership of the association.

“What we want from the Government is that all state legislatures must be financially autonomous. This strike is nationwide and indefinite strike,

“I call on all PASAN members to comply with the strike and be law-abiding,” The union chairman said.

During the demonstration, members of the association carried placards displaying various inscriptions, including “No going back on financial autonomy,” “Financial autonomy is constitutionally guaranteed,” “Give us our financial autonomy now,” and “Financial autonomy: the only solution to vibrant legislation,” among others.

Also, the chairman of the Kano chapter of PASAN, Bashir Yahaya, confirmed the closure of the Assembly on Monday while speaking to newsmen.

“Yes, we have joined the strike as directed by the national president of our association.

“The strike followed the expiration of an ultimatum the union gave to the government to implement financial autonomy for the legislature,” he said.

In Oyo, PASAN Chairman, Yemi Alade called on Governor Seyi Makinde to comply with Section 121 (3a, 3b and 4a) of the 1999 constitution (as altered).

Alade while speaking further, called for implementation of the Consolidated Legislative Salary Structures (CONLESS) for staff of the Assembly and the Commission.

He also called for 100 percent implementation of the salary structures, as well as other legislative allowances.

Similarly, PASAN Chairman in the Edo, Umaru Haruna, said PASAN had given a two-day ultimatum to governors of the 36 states of the federation to implement the autonomy in all the houses of assembly across the country before the commencement of the protest.

He noted that the ultimatum was further extended by one week, which ended on Oct. 27.

“The issue of autonomy is a constitutional matter. You know it has been passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari.

“All we need is for government to start implementation. But as we speak today, nothing has been done.

“We are not just fighting for PASAN; we are fighting to deepen democracy for Nigerians,” he said.

According to him, the essence of separation of powers is when autonomy is in operation.