Distributive policy

The NLC denounces the policy of the Nigerian government prohibiting public servants from participating in partisan politics

The Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) has called on the Office of the Chief Service Officer of the Federation (OHSF) to rescind a circular that ostensibly prohibits civil and public officials from participating in partisan politics.

Mr. Ayuba Wabba, the Chairman of the NLC, said so during an interview with reporters in Abuja on Monday.

Wabba was responding to an OHSF circular titled “Re-clarification on the Provision of Public Service Rules (PSR) vis-à-vis the Supreme Court ruling regarding the involvement of public servants in partisan politics” .

It is a “ill-conceived and ill-founded circular”, according to the president of the NLC.

The OHSF had issued a circular to the heads of several federal government ministries, departments and agencies on May 8.

According to the circular, civil and public officials are prohibited from joining partisan politics or acting in any form, based on the legal opinion of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of the November 28, 2018.

However, Wabba said the NLC had been inundated with calls from workers and other well-meaning Nigerians regarding the implications of the contents of the circular since its distribution.

“We have also been questioned by very senior jurists across the country about the legal validity of the contents of the circular, which states among other things that neither the 1999 Constitution nor the Supreme Court authorized public officials to engage in partisan politics.

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“The provisions of Rules 030422 of the Civil Service Rules (2008 edition) have not been struck down by the Supreme Court, so they remain in force and binding on all civil servants wishing to participate in nomination exercises or party primaries.

“The provisions of rules 030402(g), 030422 and 030423 of the Civil Service Rules (2008 edition) must be applied,” he said.

According to the NLC President, the response to this circular is to state that “while we…