By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The ongoing strike action of members of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) over non payment of 28% increment on their salaries since 2010, has been described as inconsequential to today’s budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In separate interviews with journalists, the majority leader in the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon Yusuf Tajudeen from Kaduna State said PASAN strike cannot in anyway disrupt plenary at both chambers let alone, joint session for 2019 budget presentation.
The House Leader in particular said no strike action can disrupt the workings of the National Assembly.
According to him, the federal lawmakers are not employers of PASAN the same way PASAN are not employees of the Federal lawmakers , so the question of their strike action affecting our plenary sitting is not there.
“Though penultimate Tuesday when they first carried out the protest, we granted them the honour of hearing from them by not sitting that day. That does not mean that they have the right to shutdown the chamber.
“The Legislative Privileges Act is even against any body or group of persons carrying out any action to disrupt legislative sessions, by making provision for six months imprisonment for such an offence which I know every member of PASAN is aware of.
“PASAN members may continue with their strike action but as far as we are concerned as federal lawmakers, their action will not stop us from sitting and hosting the President tomorrow ( today ) “, he said.
Hon Yusuf Tajudeen in his own reaction to PASAN strike action, said it was wrong for the parliamentary workers to continue with the strike action despite intervention made by the leadership of the National Assembly in getting their demands met by the management of of the federal parliament.
“The money they are requesting for is already captured in the 2018 budget but yet to be cash backed the same way, many of the budgetary provisions appropriated for the federal lawmakers in the 2018 budget are yet to cashbacked”, he said.