Buhari free to present 2019 budget tomorrow, says striking staff

OrderPaperToday – Chairman, Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Bature Mohammed, has assured that President Muhammadu Buhari will not be stopped from laying the 2019 budget.

Buhari is expected at the Federal chambers for the submission tomorrow.

Although the parliamentary staff protested yesterday and prevented lawmakers’ from gaining entrance, security operatives have now taken charge of the complex on the instruction of the leadership of the federal chambers.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Bature noted that the decision to make use of security agents against PASAN will only make “issues worse”.

According to him, some of the staff have been forced to resume work against their will.

He said: “The leadership of the National Assembly are making all issues worse by asking for security secure the National Assembly against its staff.

“Just some hours ago, they selected some of our staff against their wish, threatening them to go and work for them. Some of our chamber attendants are there now, working for them against their wish.”

On the presentation of the 2018 appropriation bill, the Chairman of PASAN said: “As far as we are concerned, we do not intend by any means to stop the president from presenting his budget. If we can allow cleaners and bankers to go in and discharge their duties, how can we stop Mr President from presenting his budget?

“But you can see that the action of the presiding officers is sending wrong signals by locking the gate.We are not the ones that locked this gate. It’s a very wrong signal and we condemn it in totality. We are law abiding citizens. We’ve been following all rules guided by due process.

“So, Mr President is free. If he can even come now we’ll guide him to make sure that he presents the budget and come out freely.”

In his concluding speech, he stressed that his association will not back down till their conditions are met.

“After the warning strike, we’ll get back to our people and consult about the next line of action. But I want to assure you that we will not back down until our demands are met.”

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