(Updated) A labour leader has condemned Wednesday’s attack and seizure of the mace at the Senate by unknown persons, saying that an injury to the National Assembly, was an injury to the nation’s democracy.
A statement by a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NLC, Comrade Issa Aremu said “an injury to the National Assembly is an injury to the nation’s democracy” adding that the “Federal government probe of the invasion should be prompt and conclusive with the objective of prevention of future acts”.
The labour leader said the unfortunate senate event was a rude awakening to all for good governance with respect to security of lives and property as contained in 1999 constitution.
Comrade Aremu said what the Senate just witnessed had been “the routine lots of many defenseless Nigerians” who are daily physically assaulted by criminals in homes, on the roads and in their communities.
According to him, while nothing could justify thuggery at the Senate, the leadership of the National Assembly must also stop criminalizing dissenting views of democratically elected members.
“The serial suspension of any members of the hallowed Chambers who hold contrary views amounts to legislative dictatorship which is also unacceptable in a democracy” he observed, adding that democracy was about cooperation as much as contestation and the National Assembly was the true symbol of both.
Aremu said the mass condemnation of the senate invasion shows “there is a national consensus that democracy despite some of its shortcomings remains the best form of good governance and development for Nigeria.”
Thugs suspected to be loyal to the suspended Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege had invaded the red chambers when plenary was going on and forcefully taken away the mace, thereby creating serious confusion and tension.