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PDP wants National Assembly to sanction president over DSS invasion

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja), Ayodele Afolabi (Ado-Ekiti) and Victor Gbonegun (Lagos)
08 August 2018   |   2:35 am
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the National Assembly to immediately invoke all legislative instruments against President Muhammadu Buhari to save the country from imminent collapse.

Some National Assembly staff and journalists who were barred from entering complex due to a blockade of the main gate by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja…yesterday.

• Attack on legislature a coup against democracy, says Fayose
• Ekiti chapter berates action, commends sacking of DSS boss

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the National Assembly to immediately invoke all legislative instruments against President Muhammadu Buhari to save the country from imminent collapse. It said by sending armed security operatives to invade the National Assembly and block lawmakers from accessing the legislative chambers yesterday, President Buhari crossed the line by placing the nation’s democracy in jeopardy, and setting it on the path of anarchy.

A statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said:“The invasion of the upper legislative institution by agents of the Buhari-led executive, a few months after the Senate mace was carted away by armed hoodlums, is condemnable, reprehensible, unpardonable and completely unacceptable.

“With the siege, barely a week after principal officers of the Senate were held hostage at their residences, it has become evident that the Buhari presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) intend to forcefully overrun and shutdown the Senate to pave way for suspension of constitutional rule in the country.”It noted what it described as the administration’s quest to foist a fascist regime on Nigeria adding that the APC-led government has taken several steps and actions tending towards the suspension of the 1999 Constitution, including usurpation of the duties and powers of the National Assembly and the judiciary.

The PDP had earlier alerted that Buhari’s “phony medical trip to London was an alibi to exonerate himself from complicity in this sordid assault on democracy.”It, therefore, urged the British Government to support Nigeria at this time by not shielding President Buhari in London.“Nigerians charge the British government and the international community to immediately condemn and totally reject the ugly development in our country,” he added.

Reacting to the development, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose described yesterday’s invasion of the National Assembly by armed security men as a coup against democracy, as well as Nigeria and its people.He said those with history of truncating democracy in the country should not be allowed to do so now.Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said Nigeria was obviously under the worse government in its history.

Governor Fayose said events of late had proven the unprecedented desperation of the APC government, adding that sacking Director General of the Department for State Services, Lawal Daura, “was only an attempt to save face, having failed in their coup-de-tat to topple the leadership of the National Assembly.”Meanwhile, the Ekiti State chapter of PDP has condemned the alleged blockade of the National Assembly, which prevented legislators from entering the chambers to perform their national assignment.

It added that DSS action at the Senate was tantamount to desecration of the legislature, which it described as a potent arm of government that lubricates and supports the executive for good governance.The party also commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s sacking Daura, saying his (Daura’s) action since assuming office in 2015 had been dogged with controversies, accusing the ex-security chief of always acting in ways capable of eroding the country’s democratic foundation.
Chairman of the party, Gboyega Oguntuase, said it was a national disgrace for masked DSS operatives to have blocked the National Assembly and insulated elected lawmakers from performing their legitimate duties.