N5.8bn unpaid allowances: Legislative aides vow to continue protest
Legislative aides in the National Assembly have vowed to continue with their protest until their entitlements amounting to over N5.8 billion are paid.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the aides, who had been protesting since resumption of plenary on Tuesday, were seen insisting that they would not quit until their demands were met.
The protesters had barricaded the back entrance to the National Assembly White House, through which the presiding officers enter.
The Chairman of the National Assembly Legislatives Aides Association, Mr Samuel Melaye, told NAN that the aides had not been paid their Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) and other benefits for the past three years.
“The Deputy Speaker has addressed us and we will meet with them later.
“However, we will continue to protest until all our entitlements are paid,” Melaye said.
Addressing the aides earlier, the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, urged the aides to calm down.
Lasun promised that the presiding officers and the Clerk of the National Assembly would meet with the leadership of the association to chart a way forward.
“We appreciate the fact that in the last three days you have been very peaceful and of course everybody is aware of the fact that once you are not given your entitlement, it becomes difficult to live comfortably.
“What I will advise is, I am just knowing this for the first time because those days I met you here I never bothered to find out . I thought it was outsiders.
“So, give me the next 48 hours let us see if the presiding officers and the Clerk and your representatives can sit down in a meeting.”
However, there was a melodrama when the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara arrived the national assembly.
The aides were seen chanting songs, trying to prevent him from gaining access to the white house and insisting he should address them.
They got agitated and later regrouped as the speaker refused to address them, apparently to discuss the next line of action.
Efforts by NAN to cover the meeting failed as they insisted it was a closed-door session. (NAN)