NASS Shutdown: APC Blames Saraki, Dogara

The All Progressive Congress (APC) has blamed the leadership of the National Assembly for recent developments at the legislative arm of government.

Workers of the National Assembly earlier in the week embarked on an industrial action to drive home their demand for payment of their statutory allowances to the tune of N2.7 billion.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC described the development as a national embarrassment.

The ruling party also did not left out the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the blame precisely because Bukola Saraki, Senate President and Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives are now members of the opposition party.

Messrs Saraki and Dogara were members of the APC until few months ago when they returned to the PDP from where they had left to join the ruling party prior to 2015 general election.

“The shameful development in the National Assembly which has seen parliamentary workers shutdown the legislative complex following the commencement of their four-day strike is a sad reminder of what Nigerians witnessed under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration,” Mr Issa-Onilu said on behalf of the APC.

“The PDP’s 16-year rule was characterised by such incidences of unpaid salaries, ghost workers and a shocking disdain for workers’ welfare.

“While the minority PDP usurpers who parade themselves as the National Assembly leadership have promptly paid themselves their allowances, National Assembly workers under the umbrella of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) are owed their duly earned 28 per cent increase in their salaries since 2010.

“Perhaps, if the National Assembly leaders have focused on their core legislative business and operations rather than resort to subterfuge with the sole intent of undermining the APC government, the welfare of parliamentary workers would not have been taken for granted.

“Nigerians will recall that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in one of its first actions as a government approved Federal Government bailouts to states to settle salaries owed workers.

“That is the stuff of people-centred governance which the APC represents. A worker deserves his wages.

“We have now learnt that the parliamentary workers have blocked all entrances into the National Assembly complex and cut off essential services like power and water supply; effectively crippling any form of activity within the premises.

“The APC calls on the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to do the needful by attending to the demands of the parliamentary workers.

“The welfare of workers is a cardinal policy of the APC administration. We, therefore, call on the PDP led National Assembly to save the country this national embarrassment,” the APC said.