Linus Oota, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Chapter of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) took to the streets, on Monday, in Lafia, in protest against the continued deduction of their salaries to the tune of N4.7 million monthly by the Chief Judge without any clear explanation.
They were, however, dispersed and chased away by a detachment of police mobile team on the order of the state Chief judge of the state, Justice Suleiman Dikko.
The JUSUN members had gathered early Monday at the entrance of the High Court premises, in Lafia, the state capital, where they were rallying to enforce the strike action they initiates three days ago.
Narrating their experience, chairman of the Union, Jimoh Musa said, “The policemen came here in large numbers trying to intimidate us that we don’t have the right to do what we are doing but we are Nigerians, we have rights and our rights are been infringed on, I’m very surprised
” We came here to tell our workers how far we have gone with negotiations but surprisingly, some people ordered the police to come and kill us, the police told us that they are going to disperse us out of the place, that is a threats to us
“That is a threat to our lives. If an Area Commander can come to a lawful gathering and intimidate us, it is not acceptable to us. We don’t want guns but we say no to it, if he likes, he should kill us,” he said
Earlier, Musa said some of the grievances of the union included non-conversion or promotion of workers who went for further studies legitimately for the past four years and the inordinate reduction of workers’ salaries to the tune of N4.7 million monthly without any clear explanations given
According to him, “We tried to resolved the issue amicably and not to wash our dirty linen outside but the Chief judge refuse to listen, for the past four years, our members got release properly to educate themselves, they went to school, came back but instead of them to be converted and promoted, the chief judge turned deaf ear on that
“We have workers who had read law with their LLB, Masters degrees and so on but remained redundant, secondly, chief judge has been slashing workers for over two years now to the tune of N4.7 million monthly without any explanation” He said
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State command, DSP Idirisu Kennedy, said though workers have right to demand for their welfare and entitlements, it does not empower them to lock up and take over government properties such as an office.