The indefinite strike embarked upon yesterday by lawyers in Taraba State over alleged illegal deductions from their salaries and allowances has crippled judicial activities in the state.
Speaking with newsmen in Jalingo yesterday, Chairman of the Law Officers Association, Nierus Johnson and Secretary of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Tukur A. Taji, lamented that all efforts to engage the state government over the matter had failed.
The groups said they had made several attempts to dialogue with government but the more they try, the more the government officials continue to frustrate their effort.
Johnson noted that the ongoing industrial action would have been averted if the state government had heeded the 21-day ultimatum earlier given by the association.
He added that members of the association have been pushed to the wall and were left with no other option than to go on strike.
The associations also pointed out that private practice allowances were being paid to medical doctors in the state but the government had failed to pay same to the judicial officers.
They, therefore, restated their readiness to continue the strike until the state government was ready to accede to their demands.
“We are not happy about government’s lukewarm attitude towards the law officers. We want the administration of Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku to, as a matter of urgency, pay all the arrears of salaries and allowances of law officers in line with the Harmonization Law, No. 3 of 2005.
“Before we call off the strike, Governor Ishaku must pay all the arrears of salaries and allowances of law officers illegally deducted from February 2016 to date,” the groups said.
When contacted for comments, the Head of Service, Simeon Istifanus Angyu, was not reachable but a senior member of staff in his office told The Guardian that the state government was not dragging its feet on the issue as claimed by the association.