On Tuesday, August 7, the Department of State Services (DSS) personnel, mostly in cloaks, laid siege to the national assembly and prevented lawmakers, journalists and legislative staff accessing the parliament for several hours.
During the siege, the All Progressives Congress (APC), issued a statement and absolved itself from the invasion.
It warned critics not to blame its (APC’s) politicians for the blockade saying what happened “is strictly a legislative matter.”
The party dissociated itself from “any act of brigandage and affront on the sacred symbols of our budding democracy,” and described the DSS action as “unfortunate invasion.”
However, on Wednesday, August 8, the party made a u-turn and defended the action of the DSS operatives.
It alleged that the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, had planned incite violence on that day and that the hooded DSS operatives only moved in to forestall the act.
The two statements are reproduced below:
APC Condemns National Assembly Invasion–Tuesday
The All Progressives Congress (APC) condemns in strongest terms, today’s unfortunate invasion of the National Assembly by security forces. Our Party wholly dissociates itself from any act of brigandage and affront on the sacred symbols of our budding democracy.
Our Party remains a law abiding political organisation and advises every constituent part to abide by the tenets of our constitution and our democracy.
Whilst our contention with the leadership of the National Assembly as currently constituted is a matter of public record, we still believe that the legislature as an independent arm of government must be allowed free reign for vibrant contestation of ideas and values amongst its members within the context of their constitutional mandate and for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
We call for a more harmonious working relationship between the various Arms of Government in the general interest of the country.
Mr. Yekini Nabena
Ag. National Publicity Secretary
How security operatives stopped Saraki’s plan to foment violence over impeachment–Wednesday
Following Tuesday’s incident at the National Assembly, our investigations have now uncovered the sinister plot hatched by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki to foment violence in the legislative chamber all in a bid to stop his impeachment.
Our investigations uncovered and noted the following:
We are now aware that the timely intervention of the security operatives forestalled the planned violence which could have led to possible deaths, injuries and destruction of property in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Why did the senate president mobilise thugs to the national assembly who almost lynched Hon. E.J. Agbonayinma, the only APC federal lawmaker present but for the timely intervention of security operatives.
Why did the senate president reconvene the national assembly? Ostensibly as a pre-emptive move to frustrate federal lawmakers move to impeach him.
Is it not curious that only Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) federal lawmakers were present in their numbers-some as early as 7am, while the majority APC federal lawmakers were elsewhere holding a caucus meeting on the state of the nation.
We call on security agencies and relevant bodies to as a matter of urgency probe these findings and take all necessary and legitimate action to stop these illegalities which pose a direct and ominous threat to our democracy.
As espoused in our earlier statement, whilst our contention with the leadership of the national assembly as currently constituted is a matter of public record, we still believe that the legislature as an independent arm of government must be allowed free reign for vibrant contestation of ideas and values amongst its members within the context of their constitutional mandate and for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
Finally, we reiterate our call for the Senate President to resign from the position immediately as he no longer has the moral and legitimate ground to occupy that position as a member of the minority PDP. Going by the popular axiom, ‘the majority will have their way, but the minority will have their say’.
Mr. Yekini Nabena
Ag. National publicity secretary