Rivers State Governor has vowed not to abide by the recent agreement reached between the federal government and the striking judiciary and parliamentary workers in Nigeria.
The judicial and parliamentary workers have been on a nationwide strike for close to two months over the non-implementation of judicial and legislative financial autonomy by state governments.
After series of meetings between the striking workers and the federal government the two parties last week reached an agreement over the mode of the implementation of the legislative and judicial financial autonomy at the State level.
One of the resolutions reached during the meeting was for state governments to set up a state account allocation committee to be given legislative backing in the various fund management laws which is to oversee the distribution of available resources to each arm of government.
But speaking during a valedictory court session in honor of the retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adama Laminkanra, Governor Wike claimed that he had already commenced the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary and vowed not to set up any committee as agreed by the striking workers and the federal government.
He said “We are not unaware of the so-called agreement among the federal government, the governors forum and JUSUN on the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary and legislative branches of government, for us such agreement remains a non-issue as no one can dictate to us how to implement financial autonomy for the judicial and legislative branches in a way that is better than what we are already doing.
“We will, therefore, neither set up any new implementation committee, because it is simply unnecessary nor allow the state judiciary to submit its budget directly to the State Assembly in breach of extant fiscal policies and regulations that regulate the state budgeting process.
“I am the chief executive, I campaigned, the chief judge did not campaign, I told the people what our priorities will be, it is only the Governor that presents budgets to the State Assembly. So I will not accept where they will come and tell me that the judiciary should now submit their budget directly to the State Assembly, it is not done”.
The Governor also warned that “failure to call off this strike this month, then government will have no option but to implement the prevailing law of no work no pay”.