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Assembly Workers Begin Strike, Lock Out Delta Speaker, Members, From House

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BEVERLY HILLS, November 14,(THEWILL) –  Workers at the Delta State House of Assembly, on Monday , shut the two access gates into the Delta State House Assembly, preventing the speaker, Monday Igbuya, and other members of the house from gaining access to their offices.

THEWILL gathered that the protest was as a result of poor welfare package by the Assembly Commission and non-replacement of the Deputy Clerk who retired last year including other issues affecting the union.

The State House of Assembly Complex, located along Okpanam Road, was shut for several hours until security operatives comprising police and Department of State Service were deployed to disperse the protesters to allow House members and visitors enter the premises.

The state Chairman of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Emmanuel Edozie, announced that the protest signalled the commencement of an indefinite strike and vowed that members of the union would not resume until their demands were met by the leadership which they accused of non-payment of impress and running cost.

“Since February 2016, there is no single drugstore at the Assembly Clinic, and this is affecting the staff,” he said.

“In the past two months, we have lost about four staff. What is happening is not good for the system. We said at least, let some drugs be provided, they refused.

“Again, one Doctor cannot service the Assembly staff, the members, their relatives and the assembly commission. So, we need another Doctor.

“Appointment of a deputy Clerk is another problem. Since the Deputy Clerk retired last year, the vacuum has not been filled. And there is a law passed by the same House for that position. We need a Deputy Clerk, who is a staff and not a politician.

“The House has abandoned burial arrangements and payment of outstanding death benefits to families of workers who died in line of active service.

However, Chairman, House Committee on Information and Communication, Chief Tim Owhefere, said the issues raised by the workers would soon be resolved as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was already looking into it calling on the striking workers to return to their duty posts.

Story by Oputah David