#NASSUnderSiege: 5 Important Things You Should Know About DSS National Assembly Takeover
With elections in Nigeria less than a year away, each day brings a new twist of events in the political scene.
This morning (Tuesday, August 7th), Nigerians woke up to news that the Department of State Security (DSS) had taken over the National Assembly complex.
Armed men wearing masks and brandishing huge guns stood in front of the entrance of the National Assembly complex, while the lawmakers looked on helplessly.
They weren't helpless for too long though, some of them managed to shove their way into the complex, but were however denied access into the red chair chamber (where plenary sessions hold) and meeting rooms, while the air-conditioning in the building was shut off, forcing the lawmakers to hang around the lobby.
Here are 5 important things you should know about DSS laying siege on the National Assembly chamber.
1. DSS Arrived NASS As Early As 6am
As early as 6am, men of the DSS appeared in front of the National Assembly wearing masks and armed to the teeth. They barricaded the entrance to the complex, stopping workers, senators and reporters from gaining entrance.
They also turned back a serving senator, Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South) who attempted to go into the complex, and confiscated the phone of a journalist with The Guardian newspaper. Ibrahim happens to be one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators who recently decamped to the People's Democratic Party (PDP).
2. Only PDP Senators Were Present At The Time Of The Invasion
Speaking to Bounce News and other news men at the National Assembly complex, Senator Ben Bruce revealed that at the time of the invasion, only PDP lawmakers were on ground. APC lawmakers were nowhere to be found.
3. Invasion Is Reportedly An Attempt To Impeach Saraki
Senate President, Bukola Saraki and other National Assembly leaders had been scheduled to hold a meeting at the complex at noon today to discuss national issues. The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu was also expected to brief the principal officers on the 2019 general elections.
This has therefore led to insinuations that the DSS presence at the assembly was part of a plan to impeach Saraki, given his defection from the ruling party last week.
4. The Moment A Female Law-Maker Confronted DSS Operatives
In the heat of the moment, a female law-maker, Boma Goodhead, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Akulga/Asalga, Rivers state approached the armed masked men and angrily confronted them.
"I dare to you to shoot this bullet, and Nigerians shall face you.
"Go back to your station, you cannot come and embarrass us. You come here with masked face to intimidate who?
"If Jonathan had done this to Buhari, would he have become president? Enough is enough in Nigeria" she fired at the men.
5. Law-makers Have Informed The United States And The United Kingdom On Situation
According to Senator Bruce, Senator Godswill Akpabio; who in the midst of all the drama announced his resignation as Senate Minority Leader following his defection from PDP to APC, planned to raid the national assembly. To this end, the UK and US have been informed of the invastion.
''With some pushing and showing, they allowed us into the building. The council chamber is shut, no air-conditioning, no staff so we can't do any work so Senators and House of Rep members are at the foyer waiting for the invasion that has not taken place.
''We are calling on Senator Akpabio to hurry up and invade, he's taking too much time, I don't know why he's taking too much time to overthrow the government'' Senator Bruce told newsmen outside the National Assembly complex.
''Senator Akpabio and the gang, we're waiting for you to invade so that we can send photographs of all of you to the embassies, so the sooner you invade the better for us.
''I spoke to the British ambassador, they're waiting for the list, the protest letter, I've spoken to the British government and the Americans so that their visas can be revoked'' he said.
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