By Nwafor Sunday
Aides to honorable members in the upper and lower chambers Tuesday stormed the national assembly premises demanding to be paid their allowances and salaries accumulated since the inception of the 8th assembly.
The National Assembly that resumed plenary today after suspending their activities for about 10 weeks saw few lawmakers in attendance today.
The Senate resumes from its Executive Session at 11:25am, upon which the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, led the prayers and they went in a closed-door session.
However, the aides were seen chanting songs and holding placards with inscriptions, “we are aides, not slaves.”
Speaking with journalists, Nyakari-Abasi Etuk, who led the protesters, opined that they have not been paid Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) among others, since the inception of the 8th assembly.
His words, “Some of us they are owing us up to one point something million and these are funds we use to go on errands and other miscellaneous things.
“The last leadership of the national assembly paid us up to date. We are not talking about training, the issue of training is also there, we are supposed to have four trainings in a year.
“Ever since we started we have not had training. The training that we had was sponsored by the National Assembly Service Commission. All we are asking for is our entitlements.
“This is our plight, this is our concern. We are telling everybody – today is the resumption date – most of the aides, some have died, some don’t have money to send their children to school.
“The leadership, as a matter of urgency, we are calling on the leadership to ensure that our allowances, to ensure we collect our duty tour allowances.
“Every year, allocations and budget are given to the national assembly which captures the legislative aides. So all we are saying, all we are asking for is for them to pay us. We are over 3,000 legislative aides.”