Rivers Cut Legislative Workers’ Pay over Strike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has carried out his threat of not paying workers of the state House of Assembly for going on strike.

The Chairman of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Rivers State branch, Comfort Otuene, who confirmed the deductions from the pay of her members however said they would use all legal means to get their refunds.

She said, “Nobody has officially told us why. But following the governor’s threat of no work, no pay, we are assuming that is why our salaries have been slashed. We discovered that even those of our sister union, JUSUN with the judiciary has also been slashed.

“The governor is also proving to the world that there is no autonomy of the legislature and judiciary in Rivers State because if there is autonomy indeed like he claims, he wouldn’t have access to our salaries. We have even started taking action. We cannot let it lie low. We have reported to the national leadership of our union and they will take it up from there. They entered into an MOU that nobody will be penalized as a result of the strike action.”

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PASAN National President, Mohammed Usman, described the governor’s action as unacceptable. “None of the state governors has embarked on the slashing down or no work, no pay for any staff of the National Assembly or state assembly. And for Governor Wike of Rivers State to do that, we will resist it. That is victimization. And we will not accept any victimization of any of our members.

“It’s not that we killed anybody. But we were demanding the rights of the legislature, independence of the legislature. But for him to wake up and say he is cutting off the salaries of workers of no work and no pay, is not acceptable to us. We will go to any length to fight it no matter what,” Usman said.

Wike had directed the state’s accountant general to deduct the salaries of judiciary workers for failing to call off their strike by the 1st of June.

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