- The deputy president of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has said that the recent intrusion of thugs into the chamber was a lesson to be learnt in terms of Nigeria's security
- Ekweremadu promised Nigerians that a repeat of the development will be avoided
- The president of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), Professor Aloysius-Michaels Okolie, commended the Senate's proactive stance and method of addressing the incident
Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy president of the Senate, on Friday, April 20, said that the attack on the Senate which happened on Wednesday, April 18, was a huge lesson to be learnt when considering Nigeria's security system.
Ekweremadu made this statement in his speech to the leadership of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA) which paid a solidarity visit to the Senate. He stated: “It is an embarrassment to Nigeria before the international community for someone to drive all the way into the National Assembly Complex, enter the hallowed chamber and cart away its symbol of authority, The Guardian reports.
“It shows a breakdown of security and it is a setback to Nigeria’s drive for foreign investment, because no one would be ready to invest money in such a system. So, it is a lesson that we cannot keep doing the same thing with our security system and expect a different result.
“It is also an irony that the people involved would organise armed bandits to rob the Senate of its mace, since they understand the implication of what they have done.
“As a parliament, we will ensure that this does not happen again and insist that all the actors behind the drama are brought to book.”
The deputy Senate president urged NPSA to assist the country to revamp its governance and security structures, in accordance to other federal systems.
Professor Aloysius-Michaels Okolie, the leader of NPSA, said the association was at the National Assembly to partner with the Senate and decry Wednesday's development. Okolie said: “Our association is non-partisan, but we must speak the truth, stand by the truth, and protect the truth.
“Any group or person that perpetrated what we saw live on national television needed to have his/her head examined. A normal person cannot come here and desecrate the National Assembly, let alone infringe on the mace. It was not really an assault on the National Assembly, but the entire people you have been mandated to represent.
“The desecration of this hallowed chamber is so grave an event that it calls for an immediate national action to avert a recurrence and to bring the culprits, whom we regard as bandits, to book.
“We are here to join other progressive forces in this country to demand justice. We demand the immediate prosecution of the actors involved. This matter goes beyond the cliché of being on top of the situation.
“We want to see people we put in this place as our representatives conduct their affairs in a manner devoid of any intimidation or any fear, so that the best will come out of this hallowed chamber.”
Okolie praised Ekweremadu and the entire Senate for their mature handling of the incident, adding that it was instrumental in averting a national crisis.
Earlier, NAIJ.com reported that some Nigerians in the diaspora had condemned the Nigerian Senate over its call for the sack of all service chiefs.
These Nigerians under the aegis of Nigerians in Diasporas Monitoring Group (NDMG) said the call by senators was a ploy to separate the president from his appointees who were diligent. They also dismissed the state of insecurity on which the lawmakers predicated their call as a smokescreen.
Street gist: Should the Nigerian senate be scrapped? On NAIJ.com TV