Roads leading to the Oyo State Secretariat were blocked to prevent human and vehicular movements as legislative workers under the auspices of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Oyo State Chapter on Tuesday, began industrial action.
They shut all the entrance gates of the state House of Assembly Complex in compliance with the directive of the national leadership of the association.
The protest was held to launch an indefinite strike by the workers and total shutdown of the legislative arm.
Some of the grievances as expressed on their displayed placards read: “Give us our autonomy. Enough is enough,” “We say no to executive slavery,” “Legislative arm is a separate arm of government,” “AGF, implement Order 10, 2020,” and “Legislative financial autonomy is a constitutional right.”
The workers, who assembled at the House of Assembly Complex entrance, blocked the main entrance with about three vehicles while they sang and danced.
The situation led security readjustment at the secretariat as only one gate was open. The situation stressed those who arrived at the secretariat early for work or other businesses.
Addressing the protesters, Oyo PASAN Chairman, Yemi Alade, accused the Nigeria Governors’ Forum of being behind the non-implementation of financial autonomy for lawmakers.
Alade said: “We are fighting for the non-implementation of our financial autonomy. It is a provisional constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Having observed that with the current emasculation of the legislative arm of government, there can be no true democracy.
“The bill has been passed since 2018, then in May 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari also capped it up with a Presidential Order 10, but up till now, they have yet to implement it.
“And this is a fundamental provision of the constitution which has been relegated to the background.
“As staff of the House of Assembly, if there is no true democracy, no independence; it will affect the democracy of the country. It is affecting the entire country, not only the staff of the House of Assembly because the principle of separation of power stipulates that each arm of government must act separately and if there is no financial autonomy, all other arms of government would be in slavery to the executive arm.
“Our grievances are against both the state and federal governments. There is a presidential order that mandated them to implement this financial autonomy but the Nigeria Governors’ Forum is the one behind the non-implementation. And we want to know if there is any other law or individual who is greater than the constitution of the country, that is why we had to come out to embark on the strike because if there could be a presidential order which was not followed, then there is a serious problem in the country.”