OrderPaperToday – The National Assembly’s Director of Information, Mr Emmanuel Agada, has reacted to reports that National Assembly journalists are being denied access to the complex and the press galleries in both chambers.
During an exclusive interview with OrderPaperNG, Mr. Agada revealed that the recent invasion of the red chamber by thugs, which led to the snatching of the mace, has made it mandatory for the management to increase security in and around the premises.
According to him, “the need for us to beef up security around the National Assembly became expedient because the lives of 109 senators, 360 members and over 3000 staff, and those who come into the National Assembly to do business, are all very important to us.”
Also, he explained that measures taken by the authorities was not targeted at the press or anyone in particular, but it was one of the resolutions of a meeting held by top management staff where they decided that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director of State Security (DSS) and other security agencies should beef up security to avoid the recurrence of the mace-snatching brouhaha.
Continuing, he said: “It is our responsibility to protect everybody here, including journalists, and we are also ensuring that all those who carry out their duties do so without hindrance…to ensure the legislative arm of government is not shut down due to the role its plays in our democracy.
“It is on this note that the management held a meeting and decided that certain actions should be taken to avoid future occurrence.”
Mr. Agada further clarified that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, announced that the general public would be inconvenienced for a period of time, to allow the security realignment.
“Don’t forget that we are in extraordinary times and so we have to put in extraordinary measures in place…there are strict rules that were adopted,” he emphasized.
Recall that the National Assembly was invaded by thugs allegedly led by the suspended Senator Omo-Agege of Delta State (APC), three weeks ago, where some staff of the National Assembly were injured.