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Friday, July 30, 2021

Protests rock Ekiti, Oyo Assemblies over autonomy

By Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti

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The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, (PASAN), Ekiti State chapter and its counterpart in Oyo state shut down activities at the State Houses of Assembly on Tuesday, while protesting the non-implementation of the legislature’s autonomy.
They shut all the entrance gates of the state Houses of Assembly complex in compliance with the directive of the national leadership of the association.
The protest signaled the commencement of an indefinite strike by the workers and the total shut down legislative arms across the 36 states in the country.
The union members on Tuesday carried placard with inscriptions like “PASAN Embarks on nationwide strike on non implementation of financial autonomy for the legislature, “We say no to executive slavery” and legislative arm is a separate arm of government” among others.
Speaking with newsmen at the assembly’s complex, in Ekiti State PASAN, National Publicity Secretary, Tope Eyitayo vowed that the state House of Assembly would remain shut until their demands are met.
‘He said President Muhammadu Buhari signing into Law Financial Autonomy for the legislature in May 23,2020 through an Executive Order.
“The union has since awaited the implementation and after exhausting all avenue, we have no choice than to join our colleagues in the 36 states, including FCT of Nigeria in this strike,” the national publicity secretary said.
Speaking in the same vein, Ekiti Chairman of PASAN, Mr Gbenga Oluwajuyigbe vowed that until the union’s demands are met, activities at the state assembly would remain at halt.
Oluwajuyigbe said, “In Ekiti we will not open the door for activities until our demands are met, because this strike is indefinite.”
Also, in Oyo State, the workers who assembled at the assembly complex entrance blocked the main entrance with about three vehicles while they sing and dance.
The situation forced a security readjustment at the Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan as only one entrance gate was opened. The situation led to initial stress for early birds into the secretariat complex as early as 7:30 AM
Addressing the protesters, Oyo PASAN Chairman, Yemi Alade, accused the Nigeria Governors’ Forum of being behind the plot of non-implementation of the financial autonomy of the lawmakers.
Alade said: “We are fighting for the non-implementation of our financial autonomy. It is a provisional constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Having observed that with the current emasculation of the legislative arm of government, there can be no true democracy.”
“The bill has been passed since 2018, then in May 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari also capped it up with a Presidential Order 10, but, up till now, they are yet to implement it.”
“And this is a fundamental provision of the constitution which has been relegated to the background.”

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