Nigeria’s Upper Legislative House was amazed by another interesting incident which happened during one of its sessions. The most important symbol of this whole structure disappeared on April 18. What is mace in Nigeria and why is there so much fuss about it?
What is the meaning of mace?
The frequent struggle for leadership in a succession in Nigeria always needed legislative arms to control every succession. Therefore, a person who controls the mace, the staff, and the coat of arms will also control the whole legislative system in the country.
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That’s one of the reasons why the mace is so densely guarded. It has a special power during the times of political struggles. These struggles may be connected not only with inner problems of the country but also international problems.
Mace grabbing in Nigeria
Therefore, what happened in Senate on 18th of April can be counted as a re-enactment of a familiar scenario that happened during the first republic. The first person who managed to take the highest symbol of legislative power in Senate was Mr. Ebubedike. He was a representative of Badagry East provided in the Western Region House. He disagreed with the Speaker and used the mace as a weapon to wield against his opponent.
In 1965, it was a real political scandal as mace wielding was accompanied with chairs throwing, and chaos continued for several hours.
Years passed, and the same situation reappeared in 2000. The mace went missing in the Senate and person involved in the mystery of the missing mace for Nigeria at that tme was Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. He later confessed that ordered the mace to be taken to his chambers as he was afraid of possible traitors in the parliament.
It’s interesting he didn’t want to return the mace to the original place in the Senate. He believed that President Olusegun Obasanjo and his supporters were the true traitors of the ideas of the country. A team of policemen was sent to Dr. Chuba Okadigbo house to take back the mace. He stood his ground and didn’t want to return the mace until he was forced to do it.
Another remarkable case with mace-grabbing was provided in 2013. The incident occurred in the River State House of Assembly. It was the violent crash between 5 lawmakers loyal to the Minister of State for Education Nyesom Wike and 27 lawmakers loyal to Chibuke Rotimi Amaechi who was a Governor of State for that time.
Pandemonium broke as five lawmakers tried to impeach the speaker of the House Otelemabama Amachree. The struggle for the mace continued for quite a long time, and a lot of people were seriously injured. Some of them were even hospitalized.
The similar scenario was also played by Okadigbo in 2017. It occurred in the Anambra State House of Assembly. He tried to impeach the Speaker, Mrs. Rita Maduagwu. Sensing the real threat to her name, Mrs. Maduagwu snaked out with the mace.
Therefore, the collusion with the mace only continues for today and nobody knows what may happen next. It’s again missing, and nobody knows the reasons.
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