Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has been accused by the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, of master-minding Tuesday’s siege laid at the National Assembly.
State Security Service (SSS) operatives prevented lawmakers from accessing the parliament for several hours on Tuesday morning.
Following widespread media attention and outrage from Nigerians, as well as attempts by furious lawmakers to break into the premises, the security agents ultimately allowed access to the National Assembly.
But the access was only granted to serving lawmakers. All other members of staff at the National Assembly, as well as journalists and other independent observers, were denied entry.
The siege lasted until late afternoon when SSS operatives stood down after receiving reports that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo did not authorize the deployment and had fired the director-general of the secret police, Lawal Daura, as a consequence.
Since his defection, there have been several calls to Saraki urging him to relinquish his seat at the Nigerian Senate or face impeachment.
The ruling party who had earlier condemned the seige laid at the parliament have now backtracked, accusing Saraki of plotting the drama at the legislative arm of government yesterday.
In a statement titled: “How Security Operatives Stopped Saraki’s Plan to Foment Violence over Impeachment,” the APC said it has “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.”
The party’s new position dispatched Wednesday morning was signed by the acting spokesman of the party, Yekini Nabena.
Mr Nabena said the party’s intelligence report 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 mobilize 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 7 am, 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.”