National assembly siege blamed on APC, Akpabio

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A member of the House of Representatives, Ms. Boma Goodhead (PDP Rivers State) squaring up to masked security operatives during the siege to the national assembly on Tuesday. Photo credit: Daily Trust

The senator representing Bayelsa East, Mr. Ben Bruce has blamed the siege to the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers and the senator representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Godswill Akpabio who is planning to ditch the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC.

He was reacting to the takeover of the national assembly complex on Tuesday by heavily-armed security operatives and officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) who said they were acting on “orders from above.”

During the time of the siege, lawmakers, journalists and national assembly workers were barred from accessing the complex.

Speaking out of frustration, Bruce said they would make sure that countries like the US, Canada, The United Kingdom, among others freeze Akpabio’s visas and those of his “his cohorts as well as their wives and children.”

“It has come to our attention that we’re being invaded by state security. Our colleagues can’t go to work after we adjourned for summer holiday. We’ve been informed that the APC senators are trying to effect a leadership change.

“This is anti democracy. We’re going to ask western democracy. We’ll ask the western countries to revoke the visas of Senator Akpabio. We’ll ask them to revoke the class of their wives. Let nobody test me or this institution.

“We’ll submit the names of DSS officials and that of Akpabio to the western embassies. I hope this anti democracy forces love Nigeria, so they won’t travel out of the country for a very long time.

“Akpabio will have to sell his aircraft and thereafter I’ll have to buy him a donkey so that he can use it,” he said.

Also speaking out of frustration, the chairman of senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, Mr. Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South) said: We’re legislators and we’re supposed to have access to our offices. The DSS came and blocked the whole entrance to the national assembly and said it is orders from the above. We’re here waiting to know who gave such orders.”

It was gathered that the heavily-armed and masked security operatives arrived at the complex as early as 6.00 am and took positions.

The senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, had called an emergency meeting of the leadership of the senate and the House of Representatives of the national assembly.

The meeting was summoned days after some lawmakers called for the reconvening of the national assembly in order to attend to some urgent matters of state.

It is the first meeting since the national assembly went on recess two weeks ago, following heated political manoeuvrings trailing the defections in the parliament.

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