Senate president Bukola Saraki, alongside the speaker of the House of representatives, Dogara Yakubu this afternoon addressed a world press conference over yesterday’s blockade of the National Assembly.
The Senate president who condemned the siege on the National Assembly in all its entirety, described the lock down as a show of shame.
Here are four points made by Saraki, during the August 8th conference
1.The seat of democracy was under knockdown
It is a matter of record that yesterday, lawmakers and staff of the National Assembly were prevented from entering the National Assembly Complex by heavily armed security agents of the Department of State Services (DSS). All entries to the Complex were blocked as early as 6.30 am. The National Assembly, the seat of democracy in Nigeria, was under lockdown. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives were prevented from gaining access.
2.The lockdown shamed us as a democratic nation
The ensuring standoff was a show of shame that played itself out over several hours in full view of the country. In no circumstances should this have happened. And we as a nation reaped the bitter fruits instantaneously, as evident in media images relayed around the world, images that shame us as a democratic nation. The siege was also an act of cowardice by those seeking to carry out an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate in flagrant disregard of the law. People who seek control at all costs, by whatever means, never minding the injury to democratic norms.
3. The lock down is not about either Saraki or Dogara – it’s about the soul of Nigeria
We have to say that this is not about us – Abubakar Bukola Saraki or Yakubu Dogara as an individual. It is not about Ike Ekweremadu, nor is it about Yusuf Lasun. We are speaking for my colleagues when I say that this is about the soul of Nigeria, what we represent as a country, (people) and our standing in the comity of nations. This is a country where so much is expected of us, so many rungs of the ladder that we are supposed to have ascended as a nation. Instead we are wallowing in impunity and illegal show of force, all of which retard our progress.
4. Remember I warned that there is a government within the government
This is most disheartening. We don’t get any joy in saying: We said so. We don’t. However, some of you may recall that about two years ago, I stated that there was a government within this government, to a purpose that was not in the interest of what the people voted for. I said it then, and now, almost on a daily basis, we are seeing the manifestations of that government within a government…