A mild drama played out yesterday as the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Abba Suleiman, on Wednesday, pointedly refused to recognise Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker of the House of Representatives for now, saying that it would be contempt of court to comment on the status of Tambuwal as the Speaker.
The House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs had summoned IGP Suleiman over the invasion of the National Assembly last week by armed policemen, before teargas canisters were thrown in the direction of the Speaker and other federal lawmakers as they attempted to make their towards the House chambers to discuss President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for the extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
The police boss had, last week Friday, sent the Deputy Inspector General, Operations, DIG Sotonye Wakama, to represent him, but the House Committee turned him back insisting on Mr. Suleiman’s presence.
However, while addressing the lawmakers, the IGP bluntly refused to recognise Mr. Tambuwal as Speaker of the House, a development that led to the abrupt adjournment of the meeting.
Earlier, the police boss had told the committee members that security beef-up at the National Assembly last Thursday was informed by credible security report that some hoodlums, sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC), were planning to hijack the security at National Assembly, Presidential Villa and INEC headquarters.
He added that “bearing in mind what happened to the parliament in Burkina Faso on October 30, 2014”, he had to strengthen security at the National Assembly complex.
This, according to him, included ensuring that the operational procedure of the National Assembly, which is to ensure members identify themselves and be screened, was complied with.
“Some of the principal officers complied until when Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, at the first gate, came with quite a number of suspected thugs. So the second gate was closed and security reinforced”, he stated.
At this point, some members, including Honourables Akeem Muniru, Chris Etta, Victor Nwokolo, moved that the meeting be adjourned, but Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Usman Kumo, sued for calm.
Honourable Muniru, while decrying Abba’s stance on the status of Mr. Tambuwal, said “the IGP must retract his statement calling the Speaker, ‘Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal’ or I take my leave, as I would deem this sitting an illegal one.
“I can’t participate in a hearing where the office of the Speaker, through whose authority we are having this meeting, is not even recognised by an appointee of the executive”.
Honourable Nwokolo said “I agree with the earlier speaker on the issues at stake, which has to do with the IGP retracting his disrespectful statement about the office of the Speaker”.
At this point, chairman of the committee asked the IGP directly: “Is Aminu Waziri-Tambuwal the speaker of the House of Representatives or not?”
In his response, Mr. Suleiman said: “Mr Chairman, you know that matters before the courts are subjudice. Commenting on them is subjudice until they are disposed of”.
The IGP’s response, however, led to the abrupt adjournment of the meeting with lawmakers refusing to extend the traditional courtesy of seeing off Mr. Abubakar from the committee’s hearing room.
National Broadcast: PDP Slams Buhari Over ‘Disappointing, Empty’ Speech – PDP
Recall that Buhari in his speech called for an end to the protest, adding that his government had already accepted and started implementing demands of the protesters.
He, however, failed to acknowledge the shooting of protesters by soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday night by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodinyan, the PDP said Buhari’s address was depressing and failed empathy test.
The party appealed to Nigerians, particularly the youth, to remain calm and allow a return to normal life in the collective quest for peaceful co-existence in the overall interest of the nation.
PDP Asks Buhari To Stop Killing Of #EndSARS Protesters Across Nigeria
This was contained in a statement titled “EndSARS- Lekki Massacre,” signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, late on Tuesday.
Ologbodiyan said, “The Peoples Democratic Party, condemns in very strong terms, the killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos as well as other parts of our country.
“It is shocking that security agents and, in some cases, thugs, were reportedly deployed to end the lives of promising Nigerians. This, to say the least, is saddening.
“Those responsible for the heinous murder of the innocent and harmless Nigerians must account for their nefarious acts.
“The PDP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct an end to these wanton killings across our nation.
#EndSARS: Gov Bello Warns Protesters Against Overthrowing Buhari
He stated this during an interview with Africa Independent Television AIT on Monday night.
Bello called on his fellow state governors to tack charge in their respective states so as to prevent loss of lives and properties due to attacks by hoodlums.
He, however, warned Nigerian youths to resist the temptation of using the current situation in the country to seek an undemocratic change in leadership.
The Governor warned that those interested in the presidency must wait till 2023 and go through democratic processes.
He urged the protesting youths to leave the streets and embrace dialogue.
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