A state government in Nigeria on Friday threatened to sack jurists if they did not immediately end a strike protesting low salaries, local media reported.

The move in the southeastern Ebonyi state comes in reaction to members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) going on indefinite strike on Thursday against local authorities’ failure to implement an official payment structure for judicial professionals, according to the daily newspaper The Guardian, based in Lagos city.

“JUSUN members in the state are therefore directed to return to work on Friday, Aug.14 or risk being dismissed from service,” said a statement by state civil service chief Chamberlain Nwele.

Nwele added that Ebonyi Governor David Umahi saw the strike as an act of sabotage that his government would not tolerate.

“Attendance of judiciary staff will be taken by state government officials, to aid payment of August 2020 salary,” Nwele said.

“This is a period when other states of the federation are unable to pay workers’ salaries due to the negative impact of COVID-19,” he added.

Nwele went on to say that the Ebonyi government had ensured that workers’ wages were “consistently paid.”

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