• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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NASS invasion: Senate asks police to secure federal parliament

Femi Gbajabiamila

The Senate on Wednesday condemned Tuesday’s attack on the National Assembly by protesting members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), popularly called Shi’ites.

The Shi’ites, while protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Ibrahim Elzakzaky, by the Federal Government on Tuesday invaded the National Assembly, disarmed security operatives, killed two persons, damaged parked vehicles and vandalised structures.

The Senate described the invasion by the Shi’ites and the wanton destruction carried out by the IMN as the desecration of the sacred National Legislative Institution of Nigeria.
Adedayo Adeyeye, chairman, Senate ad hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, stated this while addressing journalists on the issue.

Adeyeye noted with concern the “unwarranted affront on the Federal Parliament” which, he said, led to the abrupt adjournment of the House of Representatives’ plenary.
“While the National Assembly is a public place for Nigerians, citizens must follow proper channels and protocols if they have cause(s) to access its premises. Senate hereby calls for security beef-up within the National Assembly and other institutions henceforth,” Adeyeye said.
On its part, the House of Representatives on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently grant the demands of the Shi’ites to forestall further breakdown of law and order from the group.

The House of Reps, which was forced to adjourn plenary as a result of the invasion, also resolved that an ad hoc committee be constituted immediately to investigate the unfortunate incident.
The committee, when constituted, is mandated to find out the involvement of security operatives who manned the entry points when the attack occurred.

The House further called for review of internal security of the National Assembly and to employ adequate measures to prevent further security breaches.

Also, the House resolved that urgent ways be evolved by the authorities to compensate families of the victims and those whose vehicles were destroyed.

The Green Chamber reached these resolutions sequel to a motion of urgent public importance moved by Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, on the attack of Shi’ites on the National Assembly.

Leading the debate, Elumelu noted that the invasion has exposed the porous nature of the NASS security system.

According to him, visitors were granted unhindered access to the NASS premises without proper checks and verifications.

Ruling, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, condemned the invasion and described it as totally unacceptable and granted all the prayers in the motion.