Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan has said that before the week runs out, President Muhammadu Buhari would send the list of his new ministers for screening to the Senate.
Lawan stated this during plenary yesterday when he responded to point of order raised by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom North East) on Buhari’s delay in sending the ministerial list for screening.
Lawan said: “The executive arm of government is working hard on the ministerial nominees’ list to be submitted to the Senate. The list may be submitted before the weekend and I want to urge every senator to be ready to stay for long hours for the screening of the nominees.”
While raising the point of order on urgent national importance under Section 42 of the Senate Rules, Akpan had expressed concern on the president’s delay in submitting the ministerial list to the Upper House.
Senator Akpan reminded his colleagues that they would be going on long vacation on July 25 and that “if the nominees are not screened before then, it will put pressure on us during the holiday”.
As Akpan spoke, some All Progressives Congress (APC) senators responded with “Thank you”, and “does it concern you.” At this point, Akpan and other lawmakers burst into laughter.
NASS Seeks Security Reinforcement, El -Zakzaky’s Release
To avert the recurrence of Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiite, the federal lawmakers yesterday asked the inspector-general of police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to strengthen security around the NASS complex even as they asked the federal government to release the detained leader of IMN.
The IMN members were protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky by the federal government.
They allegedly took their anger to the National Assembly because of its silence over the continued detention of El-Zakzaky by the federal government.
IMN members had in their hundreds protested to the National Assembly, which later turned bloody after alleged attempt by the security agents to prevent them from entering the complex.
The ensued confrontation later led to the shooting of two policemen, burning and damaging of cars belonging to members of staff and visitors to NASS.
One of the protesters reportedly died from a gunshot wound while several others sustained different degrees of injuries.
Addressing journalists yesterday on the ugly incident, the Senate spokesman, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye (APC, Ekiti South) condemned the action of the Islamic group and called on the IGP to fish out the perpetrators.
Adeyeye, who said that the incident was being investigated by the police, described the National Assembly as a sacred institution of government and must therefore be respected by every Nigerian, irrespective of status.
He said: “The Senate condemn in its entirety, the desecration of the sacred national legislative institution of Nigeria on Tuesday by the members of the El-Zakzakky Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) with its forceful invasion into the premises.
“The unruly mob overpowered the security apparatus of the National Assembly through its main entrance known as MOPOL Gate. They forcefully seized one of the security operatives’ gun, shot two security personnel, unleashed terror on others, vandalised the gate, and burnt three vehicles of innocent individuals, while many other cars were equally vandalised.
“This unwarranted affront on the federal parliament led to abrupt adjournment of the House of Representatives plenary.
“Although, the inspector-general of police has ordered speedy and diligent investigation into this unfortunate and unwarranted desecration of the federal legislative house, the Senate hereby urges all law enforcement agencies to rise up to their hiding and urgently fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act with the law taking its full course.
“It should be drummed into the ears of perpetrators of this heinous act that the National Assembly is a place of serenity and sacred legislative and deliberative institution which should be respected and allowed to concentrate on her mandate of legislation for good governance, security and peaceful co-existence of Nigerians.
“While the National Assembly is a public place for Nigerians, citizens must follow proper channels and protocols if they have causes to access its premises.
“Senate hereby calls for security beef up within the National Assembly and other institutions henceforth,” Adeyeye said.
On its part, the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly urged President Buhari to urgently engage the Shiite group and meet their demands.
The decision of the Green Chamber followed a motion moved by the minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, on the invasion of the National Assembly on Tuesday by the group.
The Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabimila, condemned the invasion and described it as totally unacceptable.
Leading the debate, Elumelu said that the incident had exposed the porous nature of the NASS security system.
According to him, visitors were granted access to the NASS premises without proper check and verification.
The House resolved that an ad-hoc committee be constituted to investigate the attack.
The proposed committee will find out the involvement of security operatives who manned the entry points when the attack occurred.
The Lawmakers called for the review of the internal security of the National Assembly and the evolvement of adequate measures to prevent further breaches.
Also, the House called on the authorities to compensate the victims and those whose vehicles were destroyed during the mayhem.
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