From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau chapter of Sharia, Area and Customary Court Judges Association of Nigerian (SACCJAN), has commenced indefinite sit-down strike, following inability of the state government to pay eight years dressing allowances.
Chairman, Ayuba Dazel, who briefed journalists, yesterday, after an emergency congress meeting, held at Court 4, Plateau State High Court Complex Jos, urged the 140 judges of the association to comply strictly with the directive.
“SACCJAN resolved during a congress meeting held on Tuesday 13, June 2017, that all lower courts judges in the state are going on sit-down strike because our dressing allowances have not been paid since 2009.
“Other ministries and departments, particularly the Ministry for Justice and Plateau State House of Assembly have been paid and I don’t know why we in the Judiciary have not been paid. It is on this note that all judges are directed to be in their respective offices but will not carry out any assignment until our demands are met.”
Dazel regretted that despite the 14 days ultimatum to the governor in a May 23, 2017 letter, which expired last Tuesday, government has not shown any concern towards addressing their plight.
He lamented the discrimination in payment of the said allowances which their counterparts in the Justice ministry have been enjoying.
Dazel said the association consulted all constituted authorities on the matter but no concrete decision was taken towards resolving the abnormalities, and added that they were left with no option than to down tools until government do the needful.
In a swift reaction, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Dan Manjang appealed to the judges to “stay action and pursue dialogue, more so since the governor is from their constituency.”
He said it was not deliberate for government not to pay their entitlement and begged the judges for more understanding, saying “the hitches were due to the precarious financial status of the state.”
Manjang noted that “government is up to date in the payment of public workers and pensioners in the state and efforts are on to clear all outstanding allowances of civil servants” in the state.