The National leadership of the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for Justice and Equity (CCSO – JE) have strongly condemned what it described as an anormaly of havingtwo Clerks to the National Assembly performing the same duties.
The Chief Convener and National Secretary of the Coalition Comrade Olayemi Success and Comrade Dahiru Mustapha respectively made the condemnation while addressing newsmen at a world press conference organised by the group in Abuja.
While the National Assembly Service Commission had earlier directed the outgoing CNA, Arc. Ojo Olatunde Amos, to proceed on a three months terminal leave, the Senate President had prevailed on them to allow him to stay till his last day in office which is February 14, 2023.
The presence of the two CNAs has become a source of controversy in the National Assembly Service with staff not knowing who is directly the head of the bureaucracy.
Responding to a question, during the briefing, Comrade Olayemi Success described the recall of Ojo as an anomaly resulting from endemic recklessness on the part of the Leadership of the National Assembly.
He insisted that the Coalition would on Monday petition the Commission, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabimila to right the wrong, failing which the group would mobilise to carry out a mass protest on the matter.
On the issue of two clerks heading the management of the National Assembly, Olayemi said: “These are some of the anomalies that the civil society groups cannot close their eyes and allow to happen. We cannot also pretend not to know the danger involved in such recklessness.
“However, we don’t come out to speak like this as individuals. Luckily, today, we will be having our management meeting and top of the agenda is to review what is happening in the National Assembly.
“We are aware that as it is now, there are two people we can refer to as Clerks\ to the National Assembly. This is very terrible and bad.
“That is the the type of recklessnes that people should not keep quiet about. It is unreasonable. The terminal leave is not optional. We should not tolerate such things.
“One of them ought to have proceeded on terminal leave. Statutorily he should be on three months leave before he would eventually leave the service on February 14.
“The National Assembly Service Commission that announced Sani Magaji Tambuwal as the acting CNA, I want to assume naturally that the outgoing CNA would have proceeded on his Pre-retirement Leave.
“In any case, in our meeting today, we hope to resolve to write a strong worded petition to all the authorities concerned to address the issue within a few hours.
“If they refuse to act within the the time limit, the civil society organisations would not keep quiet. We will not hesitate to carry out a protest to the National Assembly.
“That is after our petition which would be submitted on Monday, and the ultimatum we would give, would have lapsed.
“We are also calling on the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, being Chairman and Vice Chairman of the National Assembly respectively, to act, and act fast on the issue.”
Earlier, the CSOs also condemned the attack by some management staff of the National Assembly who were on the race for the CNA job before Sani Magaji Tambuwal was appointed on acting capacity by the NASC.
They called on both Lawan, Gbajabiamila and the Commission to fish out those derogating the National Assembly after failing to clinch the position of CNA for appropriate sanctions in line with Public Service Rules.
Olayemi who read the text of the Press Conference, said: “We all may recall that not too long ago, precisely on the 18th of November, 2022, the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), excercised its power derivable from Section 6(b) of its Act, by announcing fresh appointments into the topmost cadre of the bureaucracy of the National Assembly.
“The major fallout of the above was the appointment of Sani Magaji Tambuwal, as the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly and the filling of other vacant top management positions.
“What prompted the press conference of today, is the ugly fact that few desperate and ambitious top management staff of the National Assembly, with the active support of a retired Clerk to the National Assembly, who had wished to be favoured by the recent decision taken by the Engr. Ahmed Kadi Amshi led National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), have gone to town with manufactured tales specifically tailored to rubbish the image, integrity and names of members of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
“This sickening attack against the board members of the National Assembly Service Commission, is troubling and baffling, having reached a new height and rare sense of display, as it has also consumed substancial public attention, and painted the National Assembly in bad light, while this dangerous cabal continues to sink into their deliberate lies and blackmail.
“Must we allow our democracy and the National Assembly Service Commission, to continue to bear this unwarranted burden of slander, insults and threats just because they have done their statutory work?
“There is no two ways about this as we view this sad development with grave concern, which amounts to casting aspersions, significant reputational damage and challenge to the image of the 9th National Assembly and members of the National Assembly Service Commission. We strongly condemn this wicked resort to primordial sentiment which invariably damage the image and reputation of the National Assembly in the name of power struggle.
“Those tarnishing the image of the National Assembly through campaign of calumny laced with lies must be fished out and made to face just consequences.
“We as a group hereby call on the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan and Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Representatives, to act fast; to put a stop to what is gradually becoming a ‘norm whenever the position of Clerk to the National Assembly is vacant’. We insist something drastic must be done, at the zenith of the bureaucracy of the National Assembly.
“In the light of the above, we hereby urge Senator Ahmad Lawan, as the Chairman of the National Assembly, and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, to without delay direct the Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, to embark on adequate statutory disciplinary measures meted out against these disgruntled senior management staff of the National Assembly, who have done so much to pour dirt on the sparkling performance of Engr. Ahmed Kadi Amshi and his team and the the achievements of the 9th National Assembly. There should be no sacred cows.
“We believe candidly that there is no better time than now to safeguard the sanctity and image of the bureaucracy of the National Assembly and that of representative democracy in our country.”