- Various Civil Society Organisations have referred to the abduction of the Senate’s mace as a humiliation of the nation’s democracy
- The Partners for Electoral Reform said the incident shows that there are people who are uncomfortable with the leadership of the legislature
- The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy called for thorough investigation, saying these are the kind of things that happen only in banana republics
- The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights said the episode is a national embarrassment
The abduction of the mace at the Senate chamber on Wednesday, April 18, has been described by some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as a humiliation of Nigeria’s democracy, Vanguard reports.
The groups referred to the incident as a challenge to the authority of the National Assembly, in separate interviews with newsmen.
NAIJ.com gathers that the chairman of the Partners for Electoral Reform, Ezenwa Nwagwu, stated that the act must have been orchestrated by people who were not comfortable with the leadership of the legislative arm of government. He further said the episode shows there is a lack of cohesion in the National Assembly.
He said: “The mace is the symbol and power of the National Assembly, so if anybody is taking it away, it means that there are people who are uncomfortable with the current leadership.”
The coordinator, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, Chidi Onuma, described the incident as frightening.
According to Onuma, the mace “is supposed to be the symbol of Nigeria’s democracy from the legislative point of view. So, if a stranger can just walk in and take it away, that tells us how weak the nature of the legislature is.”
He continued: “The public deserve to know what happened and this also calls for thorough investigation because these are the kind of things that happen only in banana republics. It is completely uncalled for; so, we need to know what happened and there should be an investigation on it.’’
The executive director, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), Frank Tietie, referred to the event as a political conspiracy.
In his words: “The first thing that comes to my mind is that it is a political conspiracy among the leadership and security at the National Assembly. I do not want to subscribe to the cheap conclusion that one man has the intelligence and know how to beat the security at the Assembly.
“I believe this is another calculated way of humiliating our country and the price is too much for this kind of political dealings and must be investigated for the purpose of exposing the collaborators."
He said the incident is “an insult that Nigeria will not be able to easily recover from in the eyes of other countries.
“Nigerians cannot imagine that this will happen in the United States, where the same presidential system operates," he said.
According to Tietie, no stone should be left unturned to fish out the perpetrators of the act, because it is a ‘national embarrassment’.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Senate president, Bukola Saraki, reacted to the attack on the Senate by suspected hoodlums describing it as an attack on the country’s democracy.
Saraki spoke from Washington where he was attending the Spring Meeting of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, April 18.
He commended the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, and other members of the red chamber for their swift reaction. He said those responsible will be brought to justice and vowed that they will continue to defend their constitutional mandate.
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