By Hameed Ajibola Jimoh Esq.
The indefinite strike action declared by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria- herein after referred to as JUSUN- has lasted for over eight weeks and it is still counting! The JUSUN had embarked on the strike action to compel financial autonomy of the judiciary on the Governors of States that have not complied with the said autonomy. There are therefore those persons who have supported the strike action and to them, the strike action is remains a just cause to protect democracy as it is the right action regardless of the consequences (as to them it is a ‘fight to finish’ once and for all battle, even if the national security of Nigeria is affected!) while there are others who criticize the strike action for its negative consequences and or impacts on the administration of justice, litigants and lawyers and to these persons, the strike action constitutes impediments to justice and progress of the nation. This paper is of the firm view that the strike action, apart from the facts that it constitutes impediments to the progress of the nation and administration of justice and greatly affects the litigants and lawyers, it has provoked the current insecurity in Nigeria, hence, the topic of this paper.
Since the commencement of the JUSUN’s strike action, there has been seemingly uncontrolled insecurity all across Nigeria. Many lives have been lost. Common man in the society is now resorting to self-help and jungle justice. I hope we would be able to curb the degeneration of this insecurity even after the strike action as people have been shown the most effective way of seeking justice without any delay! Citizens are now made to understand why they need not obey or approach court of law. In fact, many litigants might end up instructing their counsel to discontinue their various suits in courts and or abandon the court of law to seek jungle justice or self-help! JUSUN is determined now (in association with the Nigerian Bar Association-herein after referred to as the NBA (with due respect to them)) to ruin this country- either on sentiments, ethnicity, politics or other ulterior motives! It is very unfortunate that the NBA is not fighting for the interests of its own members and to understand their agonies and worries rather has continued to admonish a continuous forbearance (on their part) of the negative impacts of the strike on them and their families! I just hope that the insecurity rising in almost all the parts of Nigeria would not consume everyone, judges, JUSUN, lawyers, etc. (God forbid!), to the extent that the innocent ones would have to pay for the mistakes and blind leadership roles of JUSUN and the NBA! It is very unfortunate! My enquiry is that ‘of what benefits would be the roles of JUSUN when litigants are no more interested to approach the court of law’?! All the struggles would be for no one’s benefits at the end of the day! JUSUN in my mind is inviting war that it does not know its end! The insecurity is consuming almost everyone: at home; on the road; and almost everywhere! Assassination, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, etc., are now the reigns of the day! The security and law enforcement agencies of government require courts of law to carry out their functions one way or the other but JUSUN has closed courts and has thereby angered the insecurity in Nigeria!
I would candidly advise JUSUN and its learned comrades ‘the national leadership of the NBA’ to think twice and reason before the insecurity gets out of hands! ‘Anarchy’ is overtaking ‘justice’ currently! JUSUN should consider the plight of the common man, the less privileged, the vulnerable, etc., and call off this strike immediately! There has been no way this strike action has affected the executive arm of government against whom JUSUN has evoked the strike action rather, litigants, lawyers and common man become the victims innocently! A word is enough for the wise!
Finally, I therefore urge and call on the general public to prevail upon JUSUN to immediately suspend the strike action now and not later as this call is of public concerns! Injustice to one is said to be an injustice to all! When a group of persons become just like a ‘stray-dog’ or a ‘stray-bullet’ going astray, it is very important to assist such persons by curbing it and or restraining it from any further going astray! Furthermore, if the NBA national leadership knows what its leadership roles even under its own constitution are, it would protect the interests of its own members (first before others and in this case, JUSUN)! Therefore, it is my final resolution that this ongoing JUSUN’s strike has constituted impediments, outrage on the current insecurity in Nigeria and intolerable anymore hence, it should immediately be called off! Furthermore, I think the government would see the reason why it ought to use its powers to restrict the use of strike action by various unions- JUSUN inclusive- which the unions have been using or could use to the detriment of the ‘national security’!
Justice for all!
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