Strike can’t stop NASS from sitting – Gbajabiamila
The Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos) has said that the ongoing strike by members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) will not stop the Legislature from sitting.
Gbajabiamila spoke in an interview with journalists on Tuesday, said that shutting down the National Assembly was tantamount to shutting down the nation.
He said that the house would sit to pass a resolution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to present the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
“Everybody has the right to strike, you cannot take that away from anybody, it is a constitutional right, it is almost a fundamental human right for you to down your tools but that’s where it ends.
“You down your tools but you cannot stop lawmakers from doing their work that is totally out of the purview of a strike.
“In fact, it is in our laws, the Legislative Privilege Act that nobody can stop a legislator from doing his work and it attracts certain punishment,” he said.
The leader said that the lawmakers would protect the rights of the striking workers and that the right of lawmakers to sit must also be protected.
According to Gbajabiamila, when you shut down the National Assembly, you shut down the entire country.
Gbajabiamila explained that the monies being demanded by the striking workers had nothing to do with the legislators at the National Assembly.
According to him, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the management have a separate account and they operate differently.
The leader said that the lawmakers were only intervening to ensure peace between the workers and the management of the assembly.
He said when the National Assembly cannot perform its constitutional functions and the budget cannot be laid before the house, that will amount to shutting down the country and that nobody would sit and watch that to happen.
Gbajabiamila said that the leadership of the National Assembly met yesterday and the matter was being taken care off and that the results were already being seen.
NAN reports that the 4-day warning strike action by members of PASAN has entered day two.