Senate President Bukola Saraki has assured National Assembly workers of the payment of their salaries and allowances following the ongoing protest by staffs who disrupted activities at the Abuja complex.
On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, National Assembly staffs came out in their large numbers to protest and disrupted activities within the premises of the Senate and House of Representatives over claims of unpaid salaries and allowances by the management.
The News Agency of Nigeria’s (NAN) correspondent monitored the protest where the staff were stopping the lawmakers from gaining access to the two chambers of the complex in Abuja and shouting:
“Go home; we do not want dialogue anymore. What we want is Alert.”
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori was also prevented from gaining entrance into the complex, though he pleaded with the protesters, the plea fell on deaf ears as hundreds of workers keep denying lawmakers access into both chambers.
They chanted solidarity songs while displaying placards with different inscriptions demanding for an improved working condition.
Some of the placards read:
“Omolori must go’’ “Our Oppressor Must Go’’ “Black Pharaoh must Go’’ “Black Prince Must Go”.
The protest which lasted for about five hours had workers chanting solidarity songs and booing lawmakers who had come for plenary.
Addressing the workers, Saraki pleaded with the workers adding that they would find money to pay their allowances. He said:
“Let me make a commitment on behalf of the entire leadership of the National Assembly that we are all on the same side,” Saraki said. “It is our interest to be sure good and mental condition of service and better working environment and we are fully committed to this. We will work tirelessly to make sure the conditions you have listed are met.
“What I am committing to you alongside the leadership is that we must find money to ensure the implementation of your demand. But for us to find a solution, we must be able to sit down and hold a meeting. We want you to be paid but we must be able to sit down and discuss with the management on how to go about this. You should give us time to hold a meeting.
“If you allow us, the report on the condition of service will be considered immediately by the two chambers so that we can pass that immediately. We want to meet with you and communicate to you on the way forward but for that to happen, we must be able to sit.”
But this did not go down well with the workers who chanted “No alert, no sitting”, forcing the Senate President to end his speech.
The workers say they would continue with the protest until all their demands are met.