The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu has asked the staff of the commission in the 36 states to ignore the strike action declared by the Nigeria Civil Service Union, saying it is dead on arrival.
The union had, in a letter dated July 7, 2020 and addressed to the executive secretary of the commission, vowed to commence strike action on July 15, 2020, over non-implementation of the minimum wage.
Ojukwu insisted that there was no tension over the issue of minimum wage in the commission as being speculated.
He said this in a statement by the commission’s Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Fatimah Agwai, in Abuja.
He said, “The commission uses this medium to call on its visitors and staff across the country to be wary of malicious information from misguided forces that could prevent them from carrying out their duties as human rights defenders.
“The commission urges its staff to desist from being used by the union guided by a person who led the commission for five years but could not even approve their draft conditions of service document. Staff welfare was never his priority.”
Ojukwu said the union had planned to stop the commission from carrying out its statutory mandate of promoting and protecting human rights several times.
He added that the union had sometimes in 2019 sued the commission over the implementation of the provision of the civil service rule on oath of secrecy but failed.
The statement quoted him to have said, “Now, they are using the case of the minimum wage as a reason to achieve their unpopular plan.
“The union is teleguided by the former chairman and unable to act independently for the welfare of the members hence the failure of its fourth attempt at locking the NHRC premises each time on flimsy, uninformed and misguided reasons.
“The issue of the minimum wage to MDAs on statutory transfer is not peculiar to the commission alone and should not be a cause for industrial action at this time.
“As of now, all NHRC offices nationwide are open for business and complainants are free to access the services of the commission. All the senior staff is on duty to attend to complainants.
“Owing to COVID-19 regulations, all junior staff and officers on and below grade level 13 are working from home except those on essential services.”