By Ochiaka Ugwu
Al-Mushahid Initiative for Transparency and Accountability (AITA), an anti-graft Non-Governmental Organisation has in strong terms condemned the forceful removal of mace in the senate chamber of the National Assembly by unknown persons.
In a press statement released in Abuja by the anti-graft body and signed by its National President, Ambassador Aminu Abubakar Majidadi, it noted that the nature and manner the mace was carted away in a commando style unchallenged cast doubt on the security arrangement at the National Assembly.
“Nigeria once more is at the threshold of history as the MACE departs the Upper legislative Chambers of the National Assembly unchallenged signifying the abrupt end of proceedings, posing very serious question on the safety and security of our representatives and the nation.
“The ease at which the MACE being the symbol of authority of the legislative assembly at every plenary proceedings was taken away in a broad day light in a thriller like episode has further cast doubt on the security arrangement within the national assembly complex and the capacity of the Sergeant at arms to exercise his constitutional roles of providing protection for our legislature without let or hindrance, poses serious national security implications”.
Amb Majidadi lamented that the current development was a clear case of complicity, breach of trust and flagrant abuse of legislative rules of conduct.
Continuing, Majidadi said the action is turning National Assembly and distinguished Senators into a global spectacle and further provoked the need for a total review of our national security architecture within the context of global standard practice.
Majidadi, an anti-corruption crusader however, praised the Nation’s police Chief, Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris and the entire security apparatus of state for their swift and prompt intervention that led to the apprehension of those purportedly behind the sudden disappearance and for recovering the mace.
“We wholeheartedly commend the Inspector-General of Police and the entire security apparatus of state for the swift and timely reaction that resulted in the apprehension of those purportedly behind the sudden disappearance of the MACE and violation of the hallowed chambers of the Nigerian senate and return of the MACE to its rightful place to enable legislative sessions.
“We equally commend the Nigerian Senate for their sense of maturity, discipline, candor and composure in the face of outright provocation and abuse which have further strengthened our faith and trust in the 8th National Assembly” the statement read in part.