The speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal yesterday suspended plenary to appeal to protesting staff of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to suspend their picketing while the leadership of the House takes their case to the president.
Tambuwal rose from plenary before the end of the session and trekked for about two kilometres from the House chambers to the main gate of the Assembly complex to speak with the crowd who kept a vigil outside the gate.
He was accompanied by the chairman of the House committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, deputy chairman of House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon Victor Ogene, deputy chairman of House Committee on Labour, Hon. Aminu Suleiman and about 50 other members of the House.
It would be recalled that the protesters had blocked the entrance to the National Assembly yesterday, causing staff, legislators and other people who had business in the complex to seek alternative routes. The protest continued today as the crowd refused to move away from the position it took yesterday. They however, dispersed after the speaker's appeal.
Tambuwal, while addressing the aggrieved ex-staff of NIMC said that they were aware of their plight and would take their message to President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve. He also reminded them that the House had earlier taken a resolution urging the presidency to absorb the sacked staff in other ministries, departments and agencies of government.
"I want to assure you that the leadership of the National Assembly, on behalf of the Senate president would take up this matter with Mr. President. I will like to assure you that the House of Representatives had taken this issue through its committee on public petitions and got a resolution that those of you who were wrongly disengaged be absorbed in other agencies", he stated.
"And based on their findings, we the leadership of National Assembly and on behalf of Senate President, Senator David Mark, I am giving you that guarantee we will follow up on this matter. Take our word to the bank and give us the opportunity of addressing your grievances", the speaker added.