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Parliamentary workers in Oyo, Edo, Kano, Ondo, Ogun begin indefinite strike

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Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria workers in Oyo, Edo, Kano, Ondo, and Ogun states have commenced an indefinite strike to press home their demands for the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislatures.

In Oyo State, the workers blocked the entrance of the Assembly and displayed placards with various inscriptions, such as “Fund education not SUVs” and “Pay living wage not SUVs.”

The Edo State House of Assembly complex was also shut down, with PASAN members barricading the gates to the assembly and denying lawmakers from accessing the chambers.

The issue of autonomy is a constitutional matter. You know it has been passed by the national Assembly and was assented to by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

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“All we need is for the government to start implementation. But as we speak today, nothing has been done. The 36 states Houses of Assembly, you can call them rubber stamps because they are not on their feet simply because they are not on Autonomy. We are not just fighting for the staff of legislators, we are fighting to deepen the dividends of democracy for Nigerians. This is the struggle we are in,” the Edo State PASAN chairman said while speaking to newsmen on Monday

In Kano, the PASAN chairman, Bashir Yahaya, confirmed that the workers have joined the nationwide strike. He said that the action became imperative to press home their demands for financial autonomy.

We have joined the strike as directed by the national president of our association.

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

“The union was patient for two years after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Financial Autonomy Act, but state governors have failed to implement it.

“The state Assembly would remain closed until there is a further directive from our national body,” Yahaya said.

The Ogun State PASAN chairman, Ojediran Ayotunde, also led other members of the association to embark on an indefinite strike. He said that the action was in strict compliance with the directive of the national secretariat.

In Ondo, PASAN members staged a peaceful walk at the Assembly, displaying placards with various inscriptions and chanting solidarity songs. Their chairman, Mrs. Omolola Olufemi, said that financial autonomy is crucial to the growth of the legislature.

You could recall that the bedrock of parliamentary autonomy hinges on financial independence. Autonomy in this context is simply defined as non-dependence and non-subordination of parliaments about the executive.““The Parliaments should have equitable access to resources”. As such, parliaments by constitutional arrangements are supposed to have enough financial muscle to carry out their legislative mandate, including exercising power over the budget,“ she said

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