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Workers shut down National Assembly …turn back lawmakers, say ‘no alert, no plenary’

Workers at the National Assembly, under the auspices of the Parliamentary Support Association of Nigeria, on Tuesday crippled activities at the chambers.

Members of PASAN picketed the Senate and House of Representatives, turning back lawmakers who came for plenary.

The workers protested over the non-implementation of a new Consolidated Salary Structure, delayed promotions and unpaid allowances.

They occupied the central lobby adjoining the Senate and House of Representatives wings of the National Assembly complex.

The protesting workers carried placards with various inscriptions and sang protest songs at the entrances to the chambers.

Some of the placards read, ‘Omolori must go,’ ‘CONLESS has been approved since 2010,’ ‘Say no to consultancy,’ ‘Executive, fund National Assembly now,’ ‘Promotion is our right,’ ‘We need alert,’ ‘Release our promotion letters now,’ ‘Contract inflation is a crime.’

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who ran into the protesters on his way to the chamber, failed in his effort to address the protesters. The protesters refused to listen to him and he left.

Lawmakers, who walked in through main entrances at the White House, where the chambers are located, were forced to turn back, as the protesters approached them menacingly.

Security operatives, including men of the Nigeria Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, watched as the protesters sang and danced to their protest songs.

Some members of the Nigeria Labour Congress also stormed the National Assembly Complex and joined PASAN members in the protest.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, later led principal officers of the Senate and House to address the protesters.

The Senate President urged the workers to allow the lawmakers have a dialogue with their leaders, after which the resolutions would be made known.

While Saraki was speaking, the workers chorused “no” and chanted “no (bank credit) alert, no sitting.”

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