Governors of Nigeria’s thirty-six states have appealed to striking judiciary workers to, in the interest of the country, call off their nationwide industrial action which has lasted ten days, promising that all the contentious issues will be resolved.
The governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) assured of their commitment to ensuring financial autonomy for the legislature and judiciary noting that its implementation will follow the constitutional process.
Members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) had embarked on the strike in protest of the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.
In May 2020, the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari granted financial autonomy to the legislature and judiciary across the 36 states of the country.
There is also an ongoing strike by the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) seeking to get the federal government to implement financial autonomy for the state legislature.
Speaking to journalists after a conference between the governors and speakers of state assemblies on Thursday, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal who is also the deputy chairman of the NGF, said all issues will be resolved.
“We’ve just finished talking to the speakers, and indeed the state chief judges, and the judiciary, to continue to engage. The minister of labour is also engaging with the striking bodies to appeal to them, to appreciate the fact that we have made progress,” the governor had said.
“We are appealing to them in the interest of this country, they should call off the strike.
“We are here with the chairman and leadership of the speakers’ conference, the solicitor-general of the federation, and SSA to Mr President on Niger Delta, who has been a member of the technical committee on the implementation of the autonomy of state legislatures and the judiciary.
“Together with the chief of staff to the president, we have just finished a meeting on how to put finishing touches and dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, on the final implementation of the financial autonomy of the state legislatures and the judiciary.
“We have made reasonable progress and we have agreed, after receiving the final report of the technical committee, to meet on Monday, because of the urgency of the matter and finally, resolve whatever issues are there.
“We are doing whatever it takes to make sure that the issues are resolved. As I told you before, some of the issues are constitutional and when matters have to do with the constitution, you have to be sure of what you’re doing that you’re actually following the Constitution.
“From the very beginning, during the eighth assembly, under the leadership of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Dogara, the NGF under Abdulaziz Yari then, met with them and supported the financial autonomy for the state legislatures and the judiciary.
“And that is why with that support, we were able to achieve the passage of this amendment by the national assembly and the state legislatures across the country.
“So, the governors are unequivocally in support of the autonomy of these institutions.”
By Abel Ejikeme