By Ogar Monday
The Cross River State chapter of the Law officers officers Association of Nigeria (LOAN) has embarked on an indefinite strike, calling on the state government to implement the 1978 harmonization policy and to pay recently employed law officers their salary arrears.
The association has lawyers in the ministry of justice as members and they protested round the new state secretariat complex in Calabar before proceeding to the Government House where they were addressed by the Acting Governor, Professor Ivara Esu.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the chairman, Mr. Eneji Amajama explained why the group is embarking on the strike action and protest to raise awareness on some of the issues they face as law officers of Cross River State as well as the implementation of the 40 year old policy.
He said the industrial action was, “because of the lackadaisical attitude the state government is treating the affairs of the law officers. We are only asking that the harmonization policy that has been on ground since 1978 be implemented, it is in government policy document, No. 6 of 1978.”
Continuing, the legal practitioner averred that: “Before now there were some benefits the law officers were enjoying that the magistrates were not enjoying including them moving up to level 17 and they made their demand and that was given and we said that is fine because we are all from the same background as lawyers and now they can rise to level 17 as magistrates.
“Some improvement has been made to their allowances; it should also be extended to law officers.
“The Governor came here and approved the regularization policy to be implemented, the provision of a generator and the recruitment of law officers, forty law officers have been recruited, he has giving us the generators and what happened to the harmonization policy since 2016?”
The Attorney General had in a statement issued a “No work No Pay” threat and said that the issues were being taken care of in the 2018 budget.
But, The chairman stated that the group had embarked on strike in 2016 and the group was asked to suspend it due to the fact that it wasn’t captured in the budget and they did, “but in 2017 nobody implemented it even though it was captured in the budget.”
“This year again it is in the budget and nobody is implementing it and we are in the second half of the year. We feel it is a deliberate ploy by the government not to implement it and we have vowed not to go back on this action until our demands are met,” he added.
Responding, the Professor Esu thanked the group for organising themselves peacefully and promise that the issue will be resolved within the shortest possible time.
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