- Visiting Ghanaian lawmakers were left watching in amazement as hoodlums invaded the National Assembly and stole the Senate’s mace
- Following the incident, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila tendered an apology to the visitors; explaining that it was not a normal occurrence at the legislature
- Other lawmakers further condemned the invasion; even describing it as a terrorist attack
Ghanaian lawmakers were on a visit to the National Assembly when the upper legislative chamber was invaded by hoodlums who stole the mace, Punch reports.
The Ghanaians reportedly watched on in amazement and confusion as their Nigerian counterparts scampered to safety.
NAIJ.com gathers that the visitors sat in the gallery and observed as the invasion was debated by lawmakers.
Feeling embarrassed by the incident, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila went on to tender an apology to the Ghanaians, on behalf of the National Assembly.
He stated: “It is unfortunate that we have visitors from Ghana, who are on a parliamentary visit to Nigeria. We apologise because this is not usually how our legislature operates."
Hon Gabriel Onyenwife, a member of the House from Anambra state, supported the motion, calling the invaders terrorists. He said: “The National Assembly is under a terrorist attack; that is the appropriate description.
“If the legislature is no more, what is the fate of democracy? Today, it is the mace; it could have been a senator or a member that the terrorists came to attack. The security personnel in the National Assembly must explain the role they played in this saga.”
On his part, Prof Mojeed Alabi, an Osun lawmaker, described the invasion as a “failed coup” which should be treated with the appropriate penalty for coups.
In his words: “There is punishment for a coup, a failed coup. The punishment for this invasion should be the same punishment for coup plotters.”
The attack was further condemned by more members of the House.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the abduction of the mace at the Senate chamber on Wednesday, April 18, was described by some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as a humiliation of Nigeria’s democracy.
The groups referred to the incident as a challenge to the authority of the National Assembly, in separate interviews with newsmen.
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 a lack of cohesion in the National Assembly.
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