Workers of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) have launched an indefinite strike in Oyo, Edo, Kano, Ondo, and Ogun states to demand the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislatures.
The strike, which began on Monday, has disrupted the activities of the state assemblies, as the workers blocked the entrances and prevented the lawmakers from accessing the chambers.
In Oyo State, the workers carried placards with messages such as “Fund education not SUVs” and “Pay living wage not SUVs”, accusing the state government of misusing public funds.
The Edo State PASAN chairman, who spoke to reporters on Monday, said that the issue of autonomy was a constitutional matter that had been approved by the national assembly and the former president, Muhammadu Buhari.
He lamented that nothing had been done to implement it, and that the 36 state assemblies were not independent because they lacked financial autonomy. He said that the workers were not only fighting for their rights, but also for the deepening of democracy in Nigeria.
In Kano State, the PASAN chairman confirmed that the workers had joined the nationwide strike, saying that it was necessary to press for their demands. He said that the union had given the government an ultimatum to implement financial autonomy for the legislature, but it had expired without any action.
He said that the union had been patient for two years since President Buhari signed the Financial Autonomy Act, but the state governors had failed to implement it. He said that the state assembly would remain closed until further notice from the national body.
The Ogun State PASAN chairman also said that the workers had embarked on an indefinite strike in compliance with the national directive. He said that the workers would not resume work until their demands were met.
In Ondo State, PASAN members staged a peaceful protest at the assembly complex, displaying placards and singing solidarity songs. Their chairman said that financial autonomy was essential for the development of the legislature and democracy in Nigeria.