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NASS blockade: Obasanjo, Jonathan used force against lawmakers - Transparency International

NASS blockade: Obasanjo, Jonathan used force against lawmakers - Transparency International

- Former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, were said to have used force against the legislature during their administrations

- The allegation was made by a global watchdog, Transparency International

- It says National Assembly members were blocked and denied access into their offices during Jonathan's administration

The siege laid to the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been condemned on Wednesday, August 8, by Transparency International (TI).

Punch reports that TI, which is a global watchdog, noted that the administrations of former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, also used force against the legislature. gathers that the head of TI Nigeria, Musa Rafsanjani, recalled that some members of the House of Representatives under the APC, an opposition party at the time, were prevented by security agents from gaining access to the National Assembly complex in November 2014.

He said that the lawmakers had to scale the fence to gain access to the National Assembly complex.

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Rafsanjani said: “We are seeing a repeat of this impunity and abuse of power that have been happening unfortunately since the return of democracy in 1999. We have seen it under Obasanjo where not less than four Senate presidents were forcefully removed and where about three state governors were also removed using the state instrumentality.

“We have also seen the repeat of this irresponsible attitude during Jonathan where the National Assembly members were also blocked and denied access into their offices. We have seen the DSS locking out the opposition parties at that time also.

“This time around, we are seeing a repeat of such culture of abuse of office by impunity and rascality demonstrated by leaders to suit their political interests. This is not the kind of democracy we fought for.

"We cannot allow such harassment and intimidation of the so-called opposition parties. Politicians at all levels are not learning any lesson.

“The good thing at this time was the swift response from the presidency. The first thing was for the head of such agency to be removed because he has abused his power.

His action amounted to undermining the responsibilities of the government. It is good that he is being investigated so that we can have a loaded response not only to the DSS but to other security agencies which may have plans to toe that line.”

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Meanwhile, previously reported that Rivers state governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, condemned the blockade of the National Assembly by the DSS, urging Nigerians to rise up against the growing dictatorship of the federal government.

Governor Wike on Tuesday, August 7, declared that the action of the government was condemnable and had the capacity to truncate the nation's democracy.

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