The management of the National Assembly has threatened to sanction workers and legislative aides found to make statements viewed as inimical and prejudicial to the interest of the establishment, especially in the social media.
The management warned its workers to stop making utterances on social media about developments in the National Assembly or risk sanctions.
It also warned the workers to abide by the oath of secrecy in their condition of service.
The National Assembly management issued the warnings in a circular dated January 5, 2022, and addressed to the Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly, Clerk to the Senate and House of Representatives, Deputy Clerk to the Senate and the House of Representatives, all directors, all workers and legislative aides.
The circular was signed by the Secretary to the Human Resources and Staff Development, Abiodun Suraju Oladoyin, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly.
The circular, titled, “Oath of Secrecy,” reads: “It has been observed with dismay that some workers of the National Assembly have been promoting and exaggerating some false and unsubstantiated lies against the interest of the National Assembly, particularly in the social media on the flimsy excuses of championing staff welfare.
“In view of the above, every worker is expected to follow the oath of secrecy in the Condition of Service Numbers 03102 and 03201 and guard against actions that could be termed as Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the interest and the security of the National Assembly Service.
“Consequently, by this circular, all workers are expected to behave according to the rules and regulations of the service, and desist from making unguided statements, especially on social media. Please, bring the content of this circular to all workers under you.”
But Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) described the circular as undemocratic, saying it was aimed at intimidating and suppressing legislative workers/aides from articulating concerns over the dearth of welfare or advancing views on significant issues affecting governance in the country.
CISLAC Executive Director Auwal Musa Rafsanjani told The Nation that the National Assembly management was deliberately twisting the oath of office to put pressure on or subdue its workers/aides from exercising their fundamental human rights.