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Picketing NASS an offence punishable by law – Reps

The spokesman of the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa), has warned that it is a grave offence punishable by law for anyone or group of people to stop lawmakers from gaining access into any of the chambers of the National Assembly.

Hon. Namdas said this yesterday in Abuja while briefing newsmen after laying before the House, a report aimed at tackling the industrial dispute with parliamentary workers in the National Assembly.

Namdas said, “It is an offence to picket the National Assembly. Nobody is against the interest of the protesting workers, but I can tell you that it is against the law for anyone or group to prevent lawmakers from gaining access into any of the chambers.”

Asked if the lawmakers intended to punish the offenders, Namdas said, “No, we will tamper justice with mercy. But it is important to know the provisions of the law in order to guard against future occurrence.” He further said the protest was not against the lawmakers themselves, but against the management of the National Assembly, stressing that both the Senate and the House of Representatives were doing everything possible to ensure that industrial peace reigned.

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Recall that striking workers of the National Assembly, under the aegis of Parliamentary Staff Association of the National Assembly (PASAN), on Tuesday, blocked the entrance to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, thereby disrupting plenary and other legislative activities.

The protesting workers said they were demanding a 28 per cent salary hike, promotion arrears and better conditions of service.

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