Sanni Onogu, Abuja
The management of the National Assembly yesterday tightened security in and around the premises to forestall a planned protest by some legislative aides.
The aides, under the auspices of Salary Arrears Affected Legislative Aides (SAALA), had threatened to ground activities at the National Assembly, beginning from yesterday, over alleged non-payment of their 2019 salary arrears and allowances totalling N3.1 billion.
The Nation investigation revealed that there was increased presence of security personnel, including riot and regular policemen, Department of State Services (DSS) personnel and Sergeant-at-Arms in the complex. They were seen at various entry and exit points on the premises.
Our correspondent observed that the doors leading to the foyer at the “White House” from the Senate and House of Representatives chambers were not only shut but were also being guarded by security operatives.
But the Chairman of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF), Salisu Zuru, disowned the group, describing their planned action as illegal.
The SAALA had, in a statement, said the protest became necessary to press home its members’ demands.
The statement was signed by the SAALA Coordinator Zebis Prince and five other members.
The group maintained that the debt the National Assembly was owing its members comprises N3.15 billion in salary arrears and N1.75 billion for consequential adjustment minimum wage.