Fear of Shi’ites invasion sends Reps packing

                               Shi'ites

The House of Representatives hurriedly adjourned yesterday following reports of invasion of the National Assembly by protesting Shi’ite members.

Deputy Speaker Lasun Yussuff, who presided over proceedings, caused a stir when he informed members of the impending invasion of the House by the protesters.

He called for an adjournment, saying the move was imperative to ensure the lawmakers’ safety.

The Shi’ite group started a fresh protest on Tuesday over the continued detention of its leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Yussuff said: “Report reaching me is that the Shi’ites have crashed the first gate, but I don’t know if we have enough security to handle the situation.

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“In view of this, do we continue with the consideration of the reports before us or adjourn?”

Before adjourning, he requested for five minutes from the Sergeant-at-Arms to enable the Committee of the Whole House conclude its consideration of the report before it.

The request was granted and plenary was adjourned till today.

The protesters were stopped from accessing the main complex and they departed shortly after.

Neither Senate President Bukola Saraki nor Speaker Yakubu Dogara nor their representatives attended to them.

Earlier, Advocates for Good Governance (AGG) stormed the Assembly to protest what it called the lawmakers’ conduct of its affairs in secrecy.

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The protesters arrived at 11 a.m but stopped at the first gate, where they addressed reporters.

The group noted that since the lawmakers were elected by Nigerians, they should allow the people to have in-depth knowledge of the workings of the legislature by conducting their affairs with utmost transparency.

The protesters demanded that beginning with the Ninth Assembly in the next dispensation, the lawmakers should adopt open ballot voting in the selection of their leadership, besides the process of passing the national budget, among others.

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AGG’s Convener Duro Meseko said: “We are dismayed by information coming from the National Assembly that the leadership of the Ninth Assembly will be conducted via a secret ballot process.

“More worrisome is the fact that the leadership of the Eighth Assembly has perfected plans to select leaders who will constitute a legislative cog in the wheel of progress of President Muhammadu Buhari

“At this juncture, we wish to remind the President that Nigerians are watching and are not ready to leave this important matter in the hands of National Assembly members alone.”

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