Nigeria News
Police siege to N’Assembly shameful – Parliamentary workers, Falana


The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, has condemned last week’s invasion of the National Assembly by security agents who attacked federal lawmakers, describing it as the highest point of impunity.

Also, a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Femi Lalana, has described the police action as partisan and one of the plots to stage a coup against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, by the Federal Government.

The National President of PASAN, Mr. Fatai Jimoh, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, also described as worrisome, the activities of the law enforcement agents drafted to the National Assembly.

The PASAN boss argued that a careful observation of the police within the complex showed that they had deviated from their constitutional responsibilities.

He said, “The last shameful act of the police in the National Assembly was a blessing in disguise to expose what some members of PASAN who are members of staff of the National Assembly, Public Complaints Commission and other Nigerians are witnessing on a daily basis, particularly at the entrance to the National Assembly Complex.

He alleged that the policemen intimidated, arrested and detained some members of staff of the Assembly on November 13 for requesting for payment of their legal wages under a peaceful and democratic setting.

He said, “Where were the police and other security agents when the Secretary General of PASAN, Comrade D. D. Y. Suleman, was beaten right inside the Office of the Director of Personnel Management of the National Assembly by two members of staff of the Assembly?

Falana in a statement on Sunday also called on those he described as democratic forces to return to the trenches in order to salvage the nation’s democracy.

Falana’s call was against the backdrop of “the ongoing politicisation of the security forces, the unprecedented wave of official corruption and the subversion of democratic institutions by the Federal Government.”

Falana said, “In spite of the threat of terrorist and other nihilist’s groups to balkanise the country, I strongly believe that the rickety democratic process can still be salvaged by all the genuine democratic forces who led the Nigerian people to fight against unending military rule and who equally defeated the cabal that attempted to take advantage of the late President Umaru Yar’adua’s ill-health to seize power from the then Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

“As time is not on our side the forces of democracy ought to return to the trenches now to halt the imposition of fascism on the nation by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.”

He cited as one of the grave instances of incidents of politisation of security forces the invasion of the National Assembly by the police last week, which he said was part of plots to stage a coup against Tambuwal.

He added, “In a reckless display of partisanship the police ensured that the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, and a few other legislators were not subjected to any form of harassment.

“Meanwhile, the Presidency and the police have turned round to blame the Speaker and his colleagues for assaulting security operatives who were discharging their “lawful duties” at the National Assembly complex.”

He lamented that as security forces were being used to disrupt the proceedings of the National Assembly, President Jonathan was also prevented by a former militant, Mr. Government Tompolo, from attending the inauguration ceremony of the $16bn EPZ project in Warri, Delta State last week.

Falana added, “Thus, through sheer negligence and official impunity on the part of the Federal Government, the country has become a failed state where security forces are competing with criminal gangs in the wanton infringements of the civil liberties of law abiding citizens.

“But unlike terrorists who abduct schoolgirls in the night, militants kidnap journalists, lawyers and others during the day. Unlike coup plotters who overthrow legitimate governments at night security forces collude with anti-democratic forces in broad daylight to remove elected leaders of legislative houses.

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