The Federal Government Monday appealed to the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria to suspend their nationwide industrial action, which had paralysed activities in courts across the country.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made the appeal at a conciliation meeting between the Federal Government and the leadership of JUSUN.
Ngige reminded the judicial workers that like doctors and nurses, they were on essential duties and should not go on strike.
This was contained in a statement by the ministry of labour and employment spokesman, Mr Charles Akpan, titled, ‘FG appeals to JUSUN to suspend strike.’
Ngige was quoted as saying, “You are important people and that is why we waited to see if there could be an in-house conciliation with the Chief Justice of Nigeria but since progress was not made, we decided to exercise our mandate here as Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“Grant us peace and we are going to handle this matter in a way that doesn’t lose sight of what you are pursuing. I will do a report on this meeting and forward to the President when he returns.”
“I will make a commitment here. The Executive Order 10 and its application, granting autonomy to the judiciary which is topmost on your demand will be tackled because it is a constitutional issue.
“Even governors owe their office to the constitution. You don’t pick and choose what to obey. However, we must handle this matter with maturity and utmost patriotism,” Ngige said.
He urged the striking judicial workers to resume work so that when the judicial officers return from the Easter holidays, they would not meet the strike.
But the JUSUN President, Marwan Mustafa, said they were guided by the constitution of the country in their action.
Mustafa said, “Having agitated for so long for the needful to be done and it is not done, we went to court and got a judgment before 2014.We are patient. We are not lawless people because we work in a sector where the rule of law guides our operation. But to our amazement, since we went on strike in 2015, the government seems not to hear us until now.”
Also at the meeting were the representatives of the Solicitor General of Nigeria, the Nigeria Bar Association and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Eta Enang.
The meeting agreed to reconvene on Thursday.