27th September, 2011
The Speaker of Benue State House Assembly, Hon. Terhemen Tarzoor was today barred from entering the State House of Assembly Complex by protesting members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria , PASAN over the non-payment of their N63.2 million wardrobe allowance.
The protesting workers who converged about three hundred metres away from the main gate leading to the state House of Assembly Complex as early 8am chanted solidarity songs with placards with various inscriptions such â€œNo going backâ€ , â€œOur is a story of toil fears and sweatâ€ â€œWe stand as one manâ€ among several other inscriptions written on the placards.
The Speaker, Hon Tarzoor who arrived the scene of the protest 30 minutes later, told the protesting workers that he will not query their action, stressing that their action was not abnormal.
â€œIt is good for people to come together as a group to press home their rightâ€ he said.
He said though the issue of the non-payment of their wardrobe allowance has been on for almost four years, he had personally presented their request to the state governor , who graciously acceded to their demand and directed the payment of the wardrobe allowance.
Speaking further, Tarzoor said the delay in the non payment of the money was due to the problem associated with the disbursement of federal allocation to all the states in the country.
He then appealed to the embattled workers to exercise patience pending when the state account will be credited so that their entitlements will be paid to them.
Tarzoor also urged the protesting PASAN workers to call off their one week strike and pleaded with them to give him two days to enable him take appropriate measures to ensure the payment of the allowance.
Responding, the State Chairman, Comrade Bem Mela, who was in tears, lauded the Speaker for coming to their aid and assured him that they will accede to his demand for two daysâ€™ grace. He, however, appealed the Speaker to him to ensure that the money is paid within the next 48 hours as promised.
â€”Ubong George/ Makurdi