The governors meeting under the banner of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) Wednesday night agreed to meet the striking Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) today (Thursday).
The two unions are on strike over the refusal of governors to implement t financial autonomy for judiciary and the legislature in the states.
The governors also expressed concerns over recent attack on Imo Police Command and the Nigeria Correctional Facility both in Owrri, the state capital as well as the recent killings in Ebonyi and the killing of a soldier in Benue state.
The governors resolved there was the need for more security measures to be put in place and for continuous engagement with federal authorities on security.
PASAN embarked on strike on March 22 while JUSUN began on April 6.
The strikes began after series of ultimatum issued by the unions to the governors for compliance with the Executive Order 10 signed by the President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2020 directing the governors to begin the implementation of the financial autonomy law.
The state helmsmen have, however, challenged the order in court, saying the federal government could not dictate to the federating units.
The governors at their meeting mandated a committee chaired by Sokoto Governor and NGF Vice-Chairman, Aminu Tambuwal, to interface with the unions today (Thursday) to list their conditions to the leadership of the unions.
Briefing journalists after the meeting Wednesday midnight, the NGF chairman and governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said the meeting reviewed a whole variety of issues on security and the economy. “
He said, “The forum has resolved on a number of issues to take forward both with the committee responsible for legislative and judicial autonomy, of which we have members that have been representing us
“On security issues, members are particularly worried following what happened in Imo state, the attack on the correctional facility and the police command headquarters and the release of prisoners, and successive acts of violence and insecurity across the country, and the killings of soldiers at Benue.
“The forum has expressed its worry that it’s time for us to revisit comprehensively, the nature and depth of this security crisis, which would have gotten worse if states had not been taking the actions they’ve been taking individually and collectively.
“It is the steps taken at the state level that have managed to reduce the depths and the enormity of the security challenges.
“Nonetheless, it’s still a worrisome development for us and we feel we will need a special review of the entire gamut of the security issues that we’re dealing with and further engage the federal authorities both at the political level and federal authorities at the security level, in order to deal with this multifaceted challenges of security that we’re faced.”
Fayemi confirmed that the committee would meet with the representatives of JUSUN and PASAN on Thursday.
He said, “The Committee responsible for engaging with the representatives of the legislature and the representatives of the judiciary will meet them tomorrow to convey the position of the governors to them.”
The NGF chairman did not disclose the positions of the governors.
“I am not at liberty to discuss the details of those positions until we’ve discussed it with those that are directly involved in it,” he said.
By Kamarudeen Ogundele,