The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to shut down the country over the fight for judicial autonomy and independence.
In solidarity with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), an NLC affiliate that has been on a statewide strike since April 6, 2021, the NLC has voted to mobilize all of its affiliate unions and state councils in a national strike.
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The Acting President of JUSUN, Comrade Emmanuel Abioye, who disclosed this after an emergency meeting of leadership of the union at the Ayuba Wabba House, Abuja on Tuesday, said the option left for JUSUN, after it has done all it is supposed to do without success, is to call for the intervention of the NLC.
The leadership of JUSUN regretted that the governors reneged on their promise to sign the Memorandum of Action arrived at the meeting between JUSUN and the governors when the Federal Government intervened a week ago.
The JUSUN acting president said: “The options that we have considered include, but not limited to involving the NLC. Of course, you will recall that the NLC president had said a similar thing in his speech at the Workers Day on the 1st of May. We are affiliate of the NLC and that is one of the options we are looking at. Of course, we cannot be in this crises and NLC will fold its hands, so NLC is prepared to do the needful as we speaks. So, that is one of the options weighed.”
Comrade Abioye further explained: “The NLC action will send very strong signal to the Accountant-General of the Federation to do the needful. If they thought our own actions have not really mattered, NLC actions would be different. When the whole country unfortunately is shut down, everybody will sit up and see that our demand is legitimate.
“If we have the constitution on our side, we have the judgement of the Federal High Court which is the competent jurisdiction since 2014, we have the Executive Order 10 of the president, we have the Memorandum of Action now, that all parties are supposed to agree on, which is even their own suggestion, why are we not doing the thing we are supposed to do, which is for the NLC to intervene. We have everything on our own side, there is nothing more we are supposed to do that we have not done, so the public should be aware of that.”
Wabba had earlier said: “The struggle for judicial autonomy did not start today. It has been on for years. Unfortunately, all entreaties for the implementation of Section 121(3) of the Constitution that supports it has remained a mirage because of the indifference of governors.
“To say we are disappointed with the recent strike embarked upon by the judiciary workers is to say the least. Come to think of it, what other reason could they give for not allowing the three arms of government to function autonomously if not for corruption.
“It is regrettable that for over two weeks activities in our courts were paralysed just because of ego and the domineering influences of our governors. Congress and its affiliates will not hesitate in solidarity to join the action within two weeks if nothing is done.”
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