By Bill W. Cooper
The ground of the Capitol Building was yesterday a scene of disarray when several aggrieved staffers from the Central Administration of the House of Representatives placed a lock on the gate of main entrance of the Capitol Building fence in demand of their extra-sitting money owed them.
Our reporter who was on the scene said that as the result of the aggrieved staffers’ protest action, several lawmakers were made to disembark their vehicles outside of the fence, while other private vehicles were also unable to leave the premises of the Capitol Building for almost two hours.
According to our reporter, some of the aggrieved protesters were also heard chanting slogans; “No cars coming in, no cars going out; we need our money; please pay our extra-sitting salary which we are entitled to because we worked for it among others.”
Recently, some staffers of the House of Senate staged a peaceful protest demanding the leadership of the Senate to make available the Liberian Dollars-component of their salaries.
The head of the protesters, G. Andrew Wolo from the House of Representatives Protocol department told legislative reporters that since the extra-session, they are yet to receive their extra sitting benefits, though various lawmakers have gotten their personal staffers extra sitting salaries in the tune of US$2,500 for each office.
Wolo said that prior to their protest action, they have had several engagements, with the latest being with Montserrado County District #8 Rep., Moses Acarus Gray, noting that though he pleaded with them to abandon their strike action on grounds that he was going to ensure they get their money, they are yet to receive a dime.
According to him, US$500,000 was given to the House of Senate, while US$ 1 million was also given to the House of Representatives for all staffers’ extra-sitting, indicating that the upper house has settled their staffers, while the lower house is yet to do so, something he said is an affront to them as employees.
He further alleged that among several engagements for their benefits, the Nimba County lawmaker, Jeremiah Kung bluntly told him that the House of Representatives leadership never had money for them and as such, only their personal staffers received the money given for staffers.
Explaining their ordeals, Nadi Wolo and Janet Liberty cried that with the exception of various Representatives’ personal staffers and they, from other departments are yet to receive their extra-sitting from the House of Representatives, something they said is impeding their personal activities.
Nadi and Janet stated further that they are entitled to the money in question by law when there is a proclamation, adding that they have been receiving the money during the regime of former President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf prior to the inception of the CDC led-government.
Meanwhile, due to several engagements from the Secretary of the Liberian Senate, Nbor Sengbeh and the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Representatives on the instructions of their various bosses, the aggrieved protesters later resolved to dialogue with leaders of both Houses for their extra-sitting thereby removing the lock from the gate of the Capitol Building fence main entrance.
In another development, serious words of words ensued between the personal Security of Representative Yekeh Koluba and Representatives Moses Aacrus Gray and Dixon Siebo of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) before the entrance of the chamber of the Capitol on grounds that Rep Koluba’s security made threat of owning a gun.
But when checked by the Sergeant-at-Arms, it was established that none of them had fire arms as was peculated by the two CDC lawmakers, but the situation was brought under control with the timely intervention of other lawmakers.
Capital Building Central Adm. Staffers Demand Extra Sitting Pay
By Bill W. Cooper