Govs to implement autonomy for state assemblies, judiciary in May – Fayemi

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THE nationwide industrial action embarked upon by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria may soon be suspended as interventions from various quarters mount by the day.

There was another meeting yesterday between a technical committee on the ongoing strike chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, governors and other stakeholders.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of the meeting, the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, said governors and other stakeholders had reached an agreement on the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and the judiciary.

Although he did not furnish the general public with details of the agreement reached, he said the implementation will start in May.

Fayemi, who is the Governor of Ekiti State, insisted that state governors were never opposed to legislative and judicial autonomy, saying the governors, the Speakers of Houses of Assembly and the judges are on the same page on the issue.

The governor said, “We just emerged from a meeting with the Solicitor-General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary, the representatives of the Conference of Speakers, and House of Representatives and we are on all fours. An agreement has been reached.

“First, the issue is about implementation. There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomies. As a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support in the first instance, in the state Assemblies.

“So, that issue has been fully and holistically addressed, but we don’t just want to agree to something on paper without working out the modalities for implementation.

“Thankfully, the meeting we have just emerged from, with the Chief of Staff to the President chairing, has worked out the modalities to the satisfaction of all parties.”

On when the implementation will begin, Fayemi said, “As soon as the final document that is being cleaned up emerges, that is preparatory to implementation.

“We are not going to put a timeframe in the air, but it will be implemented as soon as possible, definitely not later than the end of May 2021.”

The governor then appealed to the striking judiciary workers to return to work in the interest of the nation.

He said calling off their action was important because “as far as this has gone, we have met with all the parties concerned, the President, through the Chief of Staff, has also been seized of this matter and has been monitoring what has been happening.

“I think we are basically at a position where whether you speak to the Conference of Speakers’ chairperson or you speak to me or you speak to the representative of the judiciary or you speak to the Solicitor-General of the Federation, you will hear that we are speaking with one voice on the implementation and not later than May, you will start seeing the implementation of the agreement that we have reached.”

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