APC Makes About-Face, Admits It Ordered Unlawful DSS Blockade Of National Assembly

APC Makes About-Face, Admits It Ordered Unlawful DSS Blockade Of National Assembly

By Ima Matthew | Staff Writer on August 9, 2018
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Operatives of the State Security Services, SSS, also known as DSS, stand at the entrance of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria August 7, 2018. | REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
Operatives of the State Security Services, SSS, also known as DSS, stand at the entrance of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria August 7, 2018. | REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Following the failed attempt to lay a siege on the National Assembly Complex by the Muhammadu Buhari-led regime, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has made a turn-face and justified the blockade by saying that it was done to avert an alleged plot to impeach the president.

Masked and heavily armed operatives of the State Security Services, SSS, manned the two gates of the National Assembly Complex preventing lawmakers and staff of the institution from gaining entrance into the building.

After an intense local and international outcry, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo summoned the director of the SSS, Lawal Musa Daura and the inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris to the Presidential Villa. In a surprise move, Mr. Daura, a kinsman of President Buhari was fired and swiftly arrested on the orders of Professor Osinbajo.

Operatives of the State Security Services, SSS, also known as DSS, stand at the entrance of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria August 7, 2018.
Senator Boma Goodhead (PDP, Bayelsa) faces down operatives of the State Security Services, SSS, also known as DSS, stand at the entrance of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria August 7, 2018.

The DSS operatives were recalled and the siege ended.

Initial reactions from the APC, in a hurried press statement which was e-mailed to The Trent on Tuesday disassociated the ruling party from the then unfolding drama saying that what was happening at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja was “strictly a legislative matter”.

The statement signed by Yekini Nabena, the acting publicity secretary of the APC, labelled the reports linking Adams Oshiomhole, the chairman of the party to the blockade of the National Assembly as “mischievous attempts in some partisan quarters”.

“While the party is monitoring the developments in the National Assembly like every other concerned Nigerian and stakeholder, there is absolutely no basis for all the false allegations and attempt to blame the APC National Chairman for the development there,” the statement read in party.

APC Mr. Adams Oshiomhole pictured with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock | State House Photo
Mr. Adams Oshiomhole pictured with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock | State House Photo

By the close of business on Tuesday, the party issued a fresh e-mailed statement to The Trent on the issue, again, condemning the invasion of legislative building and said it was an “unfortunate act of brigandage and affront on the sacred symbols of our budding democracy”.

“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,” Nabena wrote.

But on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the APC issued a new statement, this time, calling on the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki to resign from the position of senate president and justified the unconstitutional actions of the Buhari regime by saying that Dr. Saraki’s supporters were planning to unleash violence on the National Assembly.

The APC, in a statement, called for a probe of the event.

“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,” Mr. Nabena said in the statement.

“Our investigations have now uncovered the sinister plot hatched by Saraki, to foment violence in the legislative chamber all in a bid to stop his impeachment.

“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 PDP federal lawmakers were present in their numbers-some as early as 7a.m., while the majority APC federal lawmakers were elsewhere holding a caucus meeting on the state of the nation.

“We call on the 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.

“While 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,” the statement ended.



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