18 December 2018

Nigeria: Breaking - Police Barricade National Assembly, Prevent Staff, Others From Entering

Photo: Kemi Busari/Premium Times
Outside at National Assembly

Officers of the Nigerian police have blocked the entrance of the National Assembly, preventing staff, journalists and others from entering the complex.

The police who took strategic positions from the State House entrance, turned back whoever dared to enter the gate of the legislative premises.

The lock down follows a directive by the leadership of the National Assembly who asked the operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) and the police to secure the chamber for plenary.

The move, according to a statement by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori is to "enable members and staff come in and perform their legitimate duties without any hinderance."

Workers of the National Assembly under the umbrella body of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) on Monday prevented staff of the complex from working in protest of what they called poor working conditions.

A similar protest was held two weeks ago when the workers demanded pay rise, promotions trainings among other things.

The Monday protest follows a four-day warning strike that commenced on Monday.

The strike may affect President Muhammadu Buhari's presentation of the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the joint National Assembly on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, hundreds of staff of the assembly were seen in front of the complex stranded.

When approached, officials of the Nigeria Police allowed a Premium Times journalist to enter the complex after an initial turn back.

Some other police officers situated about 50 meters from the gate, however, turned the reporter back telling him he 'has no business here.'

It is not yet clear whether the lawmakers would be allowed entry for today's plenary as requested by the assembly leadership.

Details later...

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