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Monday, 14 November 2016

Protesting workers lock out Delta Speaker and members


Protesting Delta State House of Assembly workers on Monday shut the two access gates into the Delta State House Assembly, preventing the speaker, Mr Monday Igbuya, and other members of the house from gaining access to their offices.

The state Chairman of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Mr Emmanuel Edozie, said the protest was as a result of poor welfare package by the Assembly Commission and non-replacement of the Deputy Clerk who retired last year including other issues affecting the union.

The Delta State House of Assembly Complex which is located along the popular Okpanam Road was shut for several hours until security operatives comprising police and Department of State Service were deployed to disperse the protesters to allow House members and visitors enter the premises.

Edozie also announced that the protest signaled the commencement of an indefinite strike and vowed that members of the union would not resume until their demands were met by the leadership which they accused of non-payment of impress and running cost.

He said, “Since February 2016, there is no single drugstore at the Assembly Clinic, and this is affecting the staff.

“In the past two months, we have lost about four staff. What is happening is not good for the system. We said at least, let some drugs be provided, they refused.

“Again, one Doctor cannot service the Assembly staff, the members, their relatives and the assembly commission. So, we need another Doctor.

“Appointment of a deputy Clerk is another problem. Since the Deputy Clerk retired last year, the vacuum has not been filled. And there is a law passed by the same House for that position. We need a Deputy Clerk, who is a staff and not a politician.”

Edozie alleged further that the House has abandoned burial arrangements and payment of outstanding death benefits to families of workers who died in line of active service.

But reacting to the allegations, Chairman, House Committee on Information and Communication, Chief Tim Owhefere, called on the striking workers to return to their duty posts as the various issues raised by the union were already being addressed.

Owherefere, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, said the issue of the appointment of a Deputy Clerk of the House would soon be resolved as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was already looking into it.

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