#NASSUnderSiege: Transparency International Traces Abuse To Obasanjo, Jonathan
A rights group, Transparency International (TI), has traced the invasion of the National Assembly to the time Olusegun Obasanjo was the president of Nigeria and when Goodluck Jonathan was commander-in-chief, saying it is now a culture.
Nigerians are getting used to the drama that usually happens when an election year is drawing nigh.
On Tuesday, Nigerians saw it again, as the National Assembly was invaded by officials of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The right's group described the repeat of the act as 'culture of abuse of office by impunity and rascality'.
“We have also seen the repeat of this irresponsible attitude during Jonathan where the National Assembly members were also blocked and denied access into their offices," the Punch quoted the head of TI Nigeria, Musa Rafsanjani, as saying.
Rafsanjani was commenting on the DSS invasion of the National Assembly, an act said to have been ordered from above.
The presidency has denied giving the order.
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He highlighted that some members of the House of Representatives under the APC, an opposition party at the time, were prevented by security operatives from gaining access into the National Assembly complex in November 2014, resulting in lawmakers scaling the fence and gate.
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"We have seen the DSS locking out the opposition parties at that time also.
“This time around, we are seeing a repeat of such culture of abuse of office by impunity and rascality demonstrated by leaders to suit their political interests.
"This is not the kind of democracy we fought for," Rafsanjani stated.
What has Nigerians learnt in over 18 years of democracy, is one question that has continued to run in the minds of people and the head of TI Nigeria expressed worries that nothing had been learnt by politicians.
"We cannot allow such harassment and intimidation of the so-called opposition parties.
"Politicians at all levels are not learning any lesson.
"The good thing at this time was the swift response from the presidency.
"The first thing was for the head of such agency to be removed because he has abused his power. His action amounted to undermining the responsibilities of the government," he stated.
After the sacking of the DSS boss, the presidency said it had no knowledge of the order said to have come from above.
But Transparency International demanded that further investigation be conducted "so that we can have a loaded response not only to the DSS but to other security agencies which may have plans to toe that line".
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