OrderPaperToday– Today, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, spoke at a World press conference, following yesterday’s barricading of the National Assembly by men of the State Security Service.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, attended the press briefing as well as members of the People’s Democratic Party from both chambers.
Speaking at the conference, Saraki condemned the incident as “an act of cowardice” by people determined to illegally impeach the leadership of the Senate. He also alleged that there is “a government within a government” working against the interests of the country.
“Some of you may recall that about two years ago, I stated that there was a government within this government, to a purpose that was not in the interest of what the people voted for. I said it then, and now we are beginning to see the manifestations of that government within a government. It beats one’s imagination how the head of an agency could have authorized the brazen assault on the legislature that we saw yesterday. Despite the threat to our lives, we shall continue to fight impunity and injustice in this country,” he said.
The President of the Senate, however, praised Nigerians for defeating these forces yesterday, saying: “We have shown that Nigerians can resist government within government in whatever guise, and this is humbling for me. Those who sought to attack the National Assembly under my leadership for their selfish ends have only affirmed my belief in this country. They attempted to execute an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate without the backing of the law, but they faltered. I am confident that, together, we shall always defeat acts of unconstitutionality. The rule of law shall always prevail.”
While thanking Nigerians, CSOs and the international community for their reaction to the invasion, Saraki singled out a female PDP lawmaker for special praise, saying: “Among the many that come up for special mention, I believe that Honourable Boma Goodhead, a member of the House of Representatives, stands out. She looked at a masked security operative in the eye and dared him to shoot. She let it be known that Nigerians will not stand for the barricade at the National Assembly, that we will not be cowed. It was another pointer to what is possible in this country when women take their place in leadership.”
Saraki concluded his speech by restating the commitment of the National Assembly to working for the good of the country, while revealing that despite yesterday’s invasion that prevented a meeting of the National Assembly leadership and INEC, the parliament will continue to dialogue with the electoral body and address other pressing national issues which could lead to an earlier-than-scheduled reconvening of the National Assembly. He, however, used the medium to urge the President, Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the 2018 Electoral Act Amendment Bill recently passed by the National Assembly.