Legislative aides in the ninth National Assembly have called on President Bola Tinubu’s intervention over their unpaid fifteen-month salaries.
The affected staff members numbering 280 were those who worked in the office of the former Senate President and Speaker, Ahmad Lawan Femi Gbajabiamila– the present Chief of Staff to Tinubu.
Their call was also directed to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
According to them, the money had been released for payment under the former minister of Finance, Zaynab Ahmed.
However, the group claimed the money was diverted by the National Assembly management, under the leadership of the Clerk, Magaji Tambuwal.
These affected staff who worked in the office of the former Senate President and Speaker, Ahmad Lawan Femi Gbajabiamila, who is now the Chief of Staff to the President, numbering 280.
Part of a statement issued by the conveners of the prayers, Mr Sulaiman Abbas and Joseph Isah read:
“Arising from the meeting of the affected Staff of the 9th NASS, whose 15 months salary have been withheld by the management since June 2023 at the expiration of the 9th Assembly, held within the complex of the National Assembly on November 15, 2023, affected staff are informed that Friday and Sunday, November 17 and 19, 2023has been declared days of fasting and prayer.
“This is connected with unpaid salaries and other allowances. We are to observe the fasting and prayer in line with the beliefs and gather at noon to offer prayers. We believe that the owner of the universe will intervene.
“We authoritatively gathered that these salaries were paid by the then Finance Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to the National Assembly management months ago but the hierarchy diverted the funds for unexplainable purposes, leaving us in perpetual suffering and our entire family. We have explored all available channels to seek payment of our salaries. And when you have someone mightier than you, inflicting pains and sorrows on you and your family, you must leave the fight for God to intervene. The reason for these two days fervent prayers.
“The affected staff called on President Tinubu and the Chairmen of the anticorruption bodies in the country, the ICPC and EFCC, to stand by the oaths made to Nigerians while taking the responsibilities of offices, which are to stand for truth and justice, to treat all Nigerians with equity and fairness and ensure full payment of these withheld salaries to ameliorate the plights caused them by these dastardly act.”
The group were workers who left office in June 2023. They enrolled in the service of the National Assembly in May 2021 and served as Legislative Aides for two years.
They are being owed for 15 out of the 24 months of service.