From Femi Oyelola, kaduna
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has condemned the invasion of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly and disruption of the Senate plenary by unknown persons, saying it is an attack on democracy.
A member of the National Executive Council of the Congress Comrade Issa Aremu made the assertion In a statement made available to the media in kaduna yesterday.
According to him an injury to the National Assembly is an injury to the nation’s democracy adding that the “Federal government probe of the invasion should be prompt and conclusive with the objective of prevention of future acts”.
Comrade Aremu further said the unfortunate senate event was a rude awakening to all for good governance with respect to security of lives and property as contained in 1999 constitution.
Comrade Aremu explained that what the Senate just witnessed had been “the routine lots of many defenseless Nigerians” who are daily physically assaulted by criminals in homes, on the roads and in their communities.
He said while nothing could justify thuggery at the Senate, the leadership of the National Assembly must also stop criminalizing dissenting views of democratically elected members.
“The serial suspension of any members of the hallowed Chambers who hold contrary views amounts to legislative dictatorship which is also unacceptable in a democracy” he observed.
In his word democracy is about cooperation as much as contestation and the National Assembly is the true symbol of both, he said.
It will be recalled that thugs suspected to be loyal to the suspended Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege have invaded the red chambers and forcefully taken away the mace.
They broke into the chambers when plenary was going on, thereby creating serious confusion and tension. The Senate plenary was disrupted after suspected thugs invaded the chamber and made away with the mace.
Aremu said the mass condemnation of the senate invasion shows “there is a national consensus that democracy despite some of its shortcomings remains the best form of good governance and development for Nigeria.”