- The resumption of the National Assembly has been greeted with protest by aides to lawmakers who claim non-payment of their allowances
- Among other things, the aggrieved aides in a peaceful protest claim that their allowances have been denied them since the inception of the 8th assembly
- One of the protesters, Nyakari-Abasi Etuk, claimed that the accrued allowances have amounted to about N1 million
A number of legislative aides to federal lawmakers on Tuesday, October 9, staged a peaceful protest to demand their unpaid allowances.
The aides were positioned in the building, at the lobby between both chambers of the National Assembly (NASS) as they sang songs in solidarity, holding up placards with inscriptions, “we are aides, not slaves.” Both the chambers were expected to resume plenary on Tuesday, Premium Times reports.
The Senate resumed plenary and promptly entered into a closed-door session presided by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Nyakari-Abasi Etuk, who led the protesters, informed newsmen that they have not been paid Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) among others, since the inception of the 8th assembly.
“Some of us they are owing us up to one point something million and these are funds we use to go on errands and other miscellaneous things.
“The last leadership of the national assembly paid us up to date. We are not talking about training, the issue of training is also there, we are supposed to have four trainings in a year.
“Ever since we started we have not had training. The training that we had was sponsored by the National Assembly Service Commission. All we are asking for is our entitlements,” he said.
He further explained that their demands have been channeled to the leadership of the National Assembly, but were not attended to.
Etuk said: “This is our plight, this is our concern. We are telling everybody – today is the resumption date – most of the aides, some have died, some don’t have money to send their children to school.
“The leadership, as a matter of urgency, we are calling on the leadership to ensure that our allowances, to ensure we collect our duty tour allowances.
“Every year, allocations and budget are given to the national assembly which captures the legislative aides. So all we are saying, all we are asking for is for them to pay us. We are over 3,000 legislative aides.”
Earlier, NAIJ.com reported that reports had emerged that there is unease at the NASS after some senators loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC) allegedly vowed to remove Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, as the lawmakers resume from annual recess on Tuesday, October 9.
But senators belonging to the People Democratic Party (PDP), were reportedly fighting back and had resolved to resist any illegal move by APC lawmakers to force the Senate president and his deputy out of office.
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