The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria and some other top government officials on Thursday met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting held behind closed doors centred on financial autonomy for the state judiciary and legislature following the ongoing strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
This is just as the JUSUN members are planning to conduct a nationwide protest after the representatives of the Governors’ Forum and the Federal Government shelved the planned meeting with them scheduled for Thursday.
The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the NGF, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
He said: “We are here with the chairman and leadership of the Speakers Conference, the Solicitor General of the Federation, and Senior Special Assistant to Mr President on Niger Delta, Sen. Ita Enang, who has been a member of the technical committee on the implementation of the autonomy of state legislature and the judiciary, together with the Chief of Staff to the President.
“We have just finished a meeting on how to put finishing touches on the final implementation of the financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.
“We have made reasonable progress and we have agreed, after receiving the final report of the technical committee to meet on Monday and finally resolve whatever issues are there.”
Governor Tambuwal appealed to the judiciary workers to call off the ongoing strike.
He said: “We have just finished talking to the speakers, and indeed the state judges. The Minister of Labour is also engaging with the striking bodies to appeal to them, to appreciate the fact that we have made progress.
“And then, they should call off the strike. We are appealing to them in the interest of this country; they should call off the strike.”
However, the JUSUN workers said it will hold a nationwide peaceful protest on April 19 to further press home its demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary.
The union announced this in a circular signed by the Deputy Secretary of the union, P. Nnamani.
JUSUN on April 6, commenced the nationwide industrial action, which has now crippled the courts across the country for 11 days.
The union in its circular seen by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, restated that the strike would continue following failure by the government to meet its demands.
It also urged its members to hold the planned protests simultaneously across the country on April 19, and asked them to remain resolute in spite of pressures.
“Further be informed that following an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of JUSUN on the April 15, 2021, it is agreed that the union will organise a peaceful protest in the federal capital, which will be replicated in the 36 state capitals in furtherance of our agitations, from April 19, 2021.
“Please note that if in case there are any invitations for negotiations/talks, you should promptly inform the national headquarters for guidelines and representations to avoid disorder in the presentation of facts,” the circular read.