It was not funny on Monday at the National Assembly complex, as staff of the Members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) began a three-day warning strike. 

Roads were barricaded by the union members who are pushing for the payment of their outstanding salaries and implementation of other entitlements.

Plenary will hold on Tuesday and it will be a different thing altogether. 

To forestall any unforeseen circumstance, the leadership of the National Assembly has directed the Police and the Directorate of State Security (DSS) to ensure adequate security within the vicinity of the National Assembly from Tuesday morning.

A statement by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sanni Omolori, said the request was to enable members and staff come in and perform their legitimate duties without any hindrance. 

The directive was passed after a meeting of the joint leadership of the two chambers with the management and representatives of the security agencies. 

The meeting was called by the political leadership to listen to the management led by the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA) on efforts made so far to address the grievances of the striking staff. 

“The leadership of the National Assembly called the meeting because they know that almost all the issues raised by the striking workers were being addressed by the management.

"And after listening to the CNA, it was unanimously agreed that the management had made sufficient plans and efforts to address all the grievances of the workers and ensure their happiness. 

“We were sure that the issues raised by the workers have been well attended to and that it is necessary for the business of the National Assembly to continue without any disturbance," the statement read.

This strike is coming at a period that President Muhammadu Buhari will be presenting the 2019 Budget to the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives and there are indications that it could affect the presentation.

Also Read: NASS Staff Begin Warning Strike

But Omolori said both chambers must hold their normal plenary on the second day of the strike to prepare the ground for the visit of President Buhari on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.  

“We have, therefore, mandated the security agencies to perform their duty of maintaining law and order in the National Assembly Complex and its surrounding.

"They must enforce the laws which allow the striking workers to down tools if they choose to and also the ones which restrain them from disturbing those who choose to work or stop parliamentarians from entering the chambers or their offices to do the work for which they were elected.

“Senators and members of the House of Representatives, their aides, other workers and people who have legitimate business within the National Assembly Complex are therefore advised to come in, as they will be free to operate without any hindrance and molestation. 

“If the President Buhari is unable to present the budget proposal on Wednesday as scheduled Nigerians should hold the security agencies responsible for failing in their the performance of their duties”, the leadership of the federal legislature stated," Omolori added.

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