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Plateau Assembly workers lock out lawmakers

By Taye Obateru
Jos—Workers of Plateau State House of Assembly, yesterday, locked out members of the House in protest against alleged stoppage of their wardrobe allowance and failed promises by the leadership of the House.

The workers, who gathered at the House as early as 7a.m. locked gates preventing anyone from entering the premises as they insisted that the outstanding allowance which they alleged was stopped since March should be paid before they open the gate.

Appeals by Clerk of the House, Mrs. Helen Chundusu, who assured them that the arrears would be paid today fell on deaf ears as the workers said they were tired of several failed promises to pay.

Some of the legislators who were heading for the House made a detour when they saw the commotion. Leader of the workers, Mr. Jackson Bature, who briefed his members after a meeting with the clerk, said they were tired of unfulfilled promises.

He said: “We have lost count of the number of promises the Speaker has made to us that this money will be paid. They have been promising us since March this year that this money will be paid, but up till now they have not fulfilled this promise.

“The last time, a delegation of the legislators as represented by Mr. Sadat Garga, and the Minority Leader of the House, Mr. John Clark, met with us and pleaded that we should give them time to pay us. They assured us on behalf of the House that our money will be paid on the 8th of November. But up till now they have refused to release our money.”

Speaker fumes

However, Speaker of the House, Mr. Istifanus Mwansat, did not take kindly to the workers action, saying they had no right to lock out members.

He told journalists that as elected representatives of the people, they had a duty to perform which the workers cannot stop and vowed that anyone who erred would be dealt with.

The workers had staged a peaceful protest last week over the same demand.


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