Nationwide Strike’: Reps, Senators hold emergency meeting to end strike

.As Legislative Workers paralyze legislative activities The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to interface with their counterparts in the Senate with a view to end the ongoing nationwide strike embarked on by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC). The resolution was reached at the plenary sequel to the adoption of a motion of ‘Urgent National Importance’, moved by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu. The motion came in the heels of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) shutdown all the gates leading into the National Assembly complex, Abuja, in compliance with the directive of the Labour movement. In his lead debate, Hon. Kalu who made reference to the content of the recently launched legislative agenda of the 10th House, urged the House leadership to engage with the Senate counterpart and the leadership of the Organised Labour to find lasting solution to the their demands. He also urged the NLC to have faith in the parliament and agree to a dialogue.

The Deputy Speaker said, “If you go to our legislative agenda which we unveiled yesterday, on Page 10, Mr. Speaker, the mission statement of your administration which I’m gladly a part of, states, ‘Nigeria faces numerous challenges across various sectors and legislative interventions are crucial for addressing these issues and driving positive change. “The next paragraph states: ‘critically as People’s Representatives, we recognise that Nigerians and our constituents have the right to know what issues are being addressed and what priorities their elected representatives focus on. This transparency enhances public trust and accountability. “Accordingly, we have dubbed the 10th House the People’s House. Mr Speaker this is the People’s House, dubbed by you and I and all the leaders of this Assembly. “You went on to say that this Agenda seeks to foster meaningful public engagement and encourage citizens and stakeholders participate in debates, hearing and consultation related to the identified priorities. “Mr. Speaker, based on these references made to your documented mission statement and your commitment you made to Nigerians the day we emerged to lead the 10th Assembly, it will be unworthy of us to feign ignorance of what’s happening in our country at the moment. “Today, we were called early in the morning not to come for sitting, that the rooms are going to be locked and those that put on lights will not be there. “But on a second call, I was told that you braved it and said we cannot engage our People from our home, we will engage them when we sit together and I commend you Mr Speaker. That your decision to step into National Assembly motivated a whole lot of us to come to the Parliament. “We came because there’s a burning issue in Nigeria with NLC, who had threatened yesterday about going on a massive national strike, it will be unworthy of us to leave this House today without looking into this issue. “I pray that the National Labour Congress, NLC and all the Unions in Nigeria that they should trust us once again. That we will use diplomacy where necessary to engage as usual. They should trust us again to come together to find lasting solution for their pain. “We can dialogue, I pray for the House leadership and that of the Senate sit with this aggrieved NLC, as soon as possible to enable us find lasting solution to their need.” In their separate contributions to the motion, several lawmakers lamented the hardship caused to Nigerians by the ongoing strike, appealing to Organised Labour to call the two-day old strike off. In his ruling, the Speaker, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen who presided over the session assured that the House leadership would proceed on a meeting with the Senate with a view to ensure that urgent steps are taken to end the impasse. END

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