Tambuwal's Meeting: Mess At The National Assembly
Member of the State Security Service (SSS) took over the National Assembly ahead of the today's House of Reps meeting aimed at discussing emergency rule extension in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states.
The aim of the operation was to deny House speaker Aminu Tambuwal, who has recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), access to the building, Premium Times reports with reference to Tambuwal's spokesperson.
According to the recent update, Tambuwal managed to access the complex following a mess with the security. And shortly after that another breaking news emerged: the Senate president ordered the closure of the complex. Proceed with the story for the updates.
Imam Imam had previously told the correspondent:
"All the entrances are locked and only one gate is used and everyone is totally frisked before being allowed in and only one person is allowed into the Assembly from any vehicle, others are asked to go back."
The politician's representative assured however that Tambuwal would anyway hold and preside over the crucial sitting.
It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan asked the Assembly for the third time to extend the emergency rule in the 3 states mostly affected by Boko Haram insurgency. However the Senate did not warmly welcomed the controversial move as some senators openly opposed the extension.
On November 18 Tambuwal set to reconvene the House Of Representatives based on the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution "in order to treat the extension before the expiration of the current State of Emergency".
READ ALSO: Tambuwal Confirms Withdrawal, Explains Why He’s Stepping Down
Thursday’s plenary planned to be the first since his scandalous defection. While the PDP enjoys the majority in the House, the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday expressed hope that the PDP would to abide by a court ruling which that the status quo be maintained in the House, meaning the speaker retains his seat.
The today's meeting would be the first since Mr. Tambuwal’s defection, but currently it stopped from having been held. The SSS personnel took over the sprawling National Assembly complex and sealed off all entry points.
APC spokesman Lai Mohammed confirmed the today's development saying:
"I spoke with speaker Aminu Tambuwal five minutes ago and he confirmed to me that he has been locked out of the National Assembly complex at the second gate."
He added however that his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, is already in the chamber.
"The Speaker reconvene the House at the instance of the President who wrote a letter to the Speaker asking for an extension of the state of emergency in three states and now he is being ambushed and not allowed in, it is a sad development for our country. There must be limit to impunity and we are being ridiculed in the eyes of the world."
Some speaker’s loyalists overpowered the security agents and smuggled him into the National Assembly complex.
According to the recently provided information, Tambuwal who was stopped at the third gate, was finally allowed in after a prolonged argument with the SSS operatives.
The video which just emerged on the Internet shows how some Reps scaled the fence to access the building. At least 15 APC lawmakers managed to do so, it is being reported.
Police allegedly fired teargas at the violators, after which some of them were said to have fainted.
See the video of the lawmakers climbing over gates to enter the complex
Senate President David Mark announced an immediate closure of the National Assembly after the confusing incident.
Interestingly, Mark met Mr. Tambuwal in solidarity after the latter had accessed the building with the help of the APC lawmakers.
The House of Representatives was in session during the time of Mark's announcement. It is not clear whether the chamber will abide by Mr. Mark’s declaration.