Nigeria: Siege On the National Assembly Despicable - Governors

Senate President Bukola Saraki at the World Press Conference in the National Assembly.
8 August 2018

The Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) yesterday condemned the attempted take-over of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

NGF said it was an aberration.

The Forum, without equivocation, reasoned that the siege on the National Assembly was a most despicable action, one that challenged the core of the nations democracy and threatened Nigeria's corporate existence in the long run.

The Chairman of the Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, who is also a former member of the National Assembly, called on the Acting President to ensure that the participants in the unwise action are met by the full wrath of the law.

Yari described the National Assembly as the bastion of democracy and added that an attack on it is an attack on the collective conscience of the country at large.

He warned against such actions in the future, saying that such unbridled meddlesomeness by the nation's security operatives was capable of plunging the country into the unfortunate circumstances of unnecessary confusion.

Democracy is Under Threat Due to Terrorist Style of APC, Says Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has declared that the nation's democracy is under threat as result of the military-terrorist style of the present administration.

Wike, while, speaking on the invasion of the National Assembly by the Department of State Services (DSS), said that democracy revolves around diplomacy and lobbying.

Wike urged Nigerians to rise up against the growing dictatorship of the APC-led federal government.

He said: "I have said it before and I will continue to say it. There is a threat to democracy. When they started with Judiciary, I raised alarm that this thing will happen to all arms of government. Now it has spread to the legislative arm.

"If well meaning Nigerians don't speak up, our democracy will be truncated. Just one week ago, they laid siege and locked the Benue State House of Assembly. To the chagrin of all Nigerians, they invaded the beacon of democracy at the federal level."

Ortom Condemns Action of DSS

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has condemned the police and DSS invasion of the National Assembly, urging Nigerians to resist what he described as impunity.

The governor insisted that the action of the security operatives has made the country a laughing stock and is capable of degenerating into lawlessness.

"I condemn police invasion of the National Assembly and urge patriotic Nigerians to reject this impunity which is an assault on our democracy. We cannot afford to remain the laughing stock of the world," he states.

He said there are rules and procedures as well as constitutional provisions that govern the conduct of the business of the National Assembly and that any attempt to break them is condemnable.

Ortom said a similar breach of democratic norms is also happening in the Benue State House of Assembly, and stresses that if it is tolerated at the highest level, the impunity would spread across the country.

He described the sack of DSS DG, Lawal Daura, as a step in the right direction.

The governor said the sack of the Daura was long expected, following the manner he ran the service.

He urged the presidency to also look into the operations of other security agencies to save the country from the current wave of impunity.

Ihedioha Slams APC over Invasion

Former Deputy Speaker of the House of RepresentativesHon. Emeka Ihedioha, has condemned the invasion of the National Assembly, by a team of Department of State Services and the Nigerian Police, blaming the ruling All Progress Congress (APC) for such illegality.

The former Deputy Speaker, warned that Nigeria is too big for any individual or group to hold to ransom, adding "This democracy is too precious to Nigerians for any individual or group to hold to ransom. I wish to alert Nigerians that the APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole and his band of notorious gangsters have become a nuisance and an increasing threat to our democracy and must not be allowed to truncate our hard earned democratic government.

"I call on fellow democrats, civil society organisations, professional bodies, Nigerians and the international community to continue to be on alert to the anti-democratic vices of the APC-led government with a view to resisting their desperation to truncate our unity and plunge our nation into anarchy," he stated.

Turaki: Invasion Threat to Democracy

A presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN) yesterday lauded the sack of Mr. Lawal Daura by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Turaki who was in Ibadan to seek Oyo PDP members' support for his aspiration ahead of the party's primary election, described the invasion of the National Assembly by security agents as threat to democracy and reversal of democratic credentials of the past 19years in the country.

Aside, Daura, Turaki urged Osinbajo to give directive for the arrest and prosecution of other officials involved in the despicable act.

Turaki said the unfortunate incident was as a result of the failed government, led by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He noted that if the National Assembly which is a symbol of democracy could be trampled upon with impunity, the right of ordinary Nigerians can easily be threatened.

Ekiti PDP Upbraids DSS, Hails Sacking of Daura

The Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the blockade of the two chambers of the National Assembly and prevented some federal legislators from entering to perform National assignment.

The PDP said what the men of the Department of State Services (DSS) allegedly did at the Senate was tantamount to desecration of the legislature , which it described as a potent arm of government that gives lubricants and supports to the executive for good governance and giving efficiency to government's policies.

The party also hailed the sacking of the Director General of DSS, Lawan Daura, saying his action since assuming the top security seat in 2015 had been dogged with controversies, accusing the ex-security chief of always acting in a way that could erode the country's democratic foundation.

Speaking with newsmen in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the PDP state Chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase, said it was a national disgrace for masked DSS operatives to have blocked the National Assembly and insulated elected officials from performing their duties.

Ozekhome Calls for Daura's Prosecution

Following the pronouncement of a sack order on the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS), Malam Lawan Daura by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday for security breaches,

Human rights activists, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has called for the prosecution of the former Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Malam Lawan Daura, for leading his men to invade the National Assembly.

He described him as political usurper and a threat to the county's democracy for.

According to Ozekhome, the crude invasion and condoning off of the National Assembly, was hatched by top APC echelon and the presidency to illegally and unconstitutionally overthrow the leadership of the Senate.

He said while treason is punishable by death, treasonable felony is punishable by life imprisonment. He added that all those who participated in the national shame that has caused Nigeria monumental international odium, opprobrium and derision, must surely fall into one of these limbs and must be treated as such.

He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to exonerate himself, for once, by speaking up loud and clear in condemnation of this subversive and criminal acts against Nigeria's sovereignty

HURIWA Describes Invasion as Unconstitutional

A non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has described as unconstitutional and treasonous, the invasion of the precinct of the National Assembly by masked armed operatives of Department of State Service (DSS) and the police.

The rights group for the umpteenth time warned the executive branch of government which controls armed security forces to stop forthwith the desecration of the legislative arm of government with the subterranean motive to unseat the leadership of the National Assembly.

HURIWA faulted the invasion of the National Assembly by the armed security forces when their presence was not occasioned by any official invitation by either the principal officers of the National Assembly namely the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Senate President; the Deputy Speaker or the Clerk of the National Assembly.

HURIWA warned the rebellious All Progressives Congress senators plotting to illegally unseat the constituted authority to know that their illegality would not have the cobstitutional force of legitimacy and therefore any outcomes of their deliberations for a regime change amounts to an unmitigated illegality which remains null, void of of no moment.

In a statement by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA called on the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and European Union to use their collective influences as world leaders of democracy to call on President Buhari to desist from using armed security forces to arm twist and undermine the independence of the legislature.

Adegboruwa Flays Invasion

A lawyer and activist, Ebun-olu Adegboruwa, has condemned in its entirety the invasion of the National Assembly yesterday by operatives of Department of State Security Services (DSS).

The operatives invaded the legislative house and prevented officials and lawmakers from gaining access to their offices and chamber respectively.

Adegboruwa in a statement made available to THISDAY, said there was no prior notice of any security issue in the National Assembly to justify the invasion.

He explained how some of the legislators, like Hon. Goodhead Boma resisted the invasion and called the bluff of the DSS operatives, by taking their rightful space in the National Assembly premises.

He said that not long thereafter, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), issued a stern statement, warning of dire consequences for the government, if the DSS operatives were not withdrawn and the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, immediately condemned the invasion and thereafter sacked the Director of DSS.

Group Calls for Probe, Prosecution

A pro-democracy group, Movement for Democratic Goals (MDG), has called for strict and unbiased probe of yesterday Gestapo invasion of the National Assembly by masked armed officials of the Department State Service (DSS).

The group in a statement by its National Coordinator, Umar Abdulahmed described the siege on the NASS complex as a treason offense and a legislative coup aimed at toppling a democratic institution.

It said: "If such coup attempt which could be described as a treasonable act is allowed to be swept under the carpet without adequate probe and prosecution of all perpetrators, it will set a terrible precedence for the nation's nascent democracy. While it is note worthy that the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has sacked the Director General of the DSS, Mamman Daura for his involvement in the gestapo operation, there is still more to be done, all those involved must also face the full wrath of the law. There should be no sacred cow.

"We also commend members of the National Assembly for confronting the tyranny being forced down the throat of Nigerians and we urge them not to bend to any form of threat, tyranny and impunity that could plummet the nation into anarchy. Nigerians are counting on them to help sustain this hard earned democracy," the group said.

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