By Patience Aliyu
The Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Plateau Chapter, says uncertainty over the safety of its members is the reason it embarked on strike.
Mr Arandong Makwin, NULGE’s Chairman in Plateau, stated this in an Interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Jos.
NAN reports that the industrial action, which commenced on Aug. 28, was announced in a statement signed by the union’s secretary, Mr Sa’ad Abdulmumini.
The statement had cited uncertainties over a statement issued by the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Alfred Alabo, directing the unsealing of the 17 local government areas (LGAs) secretariats, to allow the elected chairmen/councillors access to their offices, and for resumption of work on Aug. 28.
This was against the earlier directive, which banned both the democratically elected chairmen/councillors, and the appointed transition implementation committee chairmen, from accessing the secretariats and offices.
Makwin explained that the strike became necessary to safeguard the welfare and security of NULGE members, following fears over the announcement by the Police PRO,
“The last time there was a clash between the two parties; that is; the elected chairmen/councillors, and the appointed transition implementation committee chairmen, both parties were claiming that they were in charge, and that led to the destruction of properties.
“We believe that this latest directive issued by the state’s Police PRO may repeat itself, and we do not want that.
“Therefore, we asked our members to stay away until the issues are resolved, because if such a clash occurs again, it may affect the security of our members,” he said.
While reiterating the need to protect members of the union, Makwin urged the political class and all warring parties to lay aside their differences for the good of the state.
“I want to call on the warring factions and the political class, to bury their differences so that the local government system, which is the nearest government to the people, functions effectively and without any hindrance.
“There should be a political resolution so that normalcy can be returned to the local governments,” Makwin said. (NAN)