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Workers shut down Delta state House of Assembly

There was serious tension in Delta state on Monday, November 14, when workers of the state House of Assembly sent out the speaker, Monday Igbuya, and other members in an angry protest.

The Will reports that the workers prevented the lawmakers from gaining access into the Assembly as they protested against poor welfare from the Assembly Service Commission.

The staff are said to also be angry over an alleged non-replacement of the deputy clerk who retired last year.

As a result of the chaos that followed, the Assembly was shut for several hours and barricaded by security operatives comprising police and the Department of State Service (DSS).

The chairman of the state Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Emmanuel Edozie, said the protest was to be followed by an indefinite strike.

He reportedly declared that until the issues concerning their grievances are resolved, the workers would not return to their offices.

He said: “Since February 2016, there is no single drugstore at the Assembly clinic, and this is affecting the staff.

“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,” he said.

Reacting, the chairman of the House committee on information and communication, Chief Tim Owhefere, explained that the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, was working to address the grievances of the workers.

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