Reps adjourn as Shi’ites storm NASS
Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives hurriedly adjourned proceedings yesterday after members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shi’ites, reportedly broke through the first gate leading into the National Assembly.
The IMN, who were protesting the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-zakzaky, were said to be advancing towards the second gate of the National Assembly when the lawmakers got wind of the development.
The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun, who was presiding over a Committee of the Whole before the adjournment, said reports had reached him that the protesters had crashed the first gate and wondered if there were enough security personnel on ground to contain them.
He stated that it was imperative for the House to take precautionary measures, expressing concern if they could still continue with the day’s proceeding.
However, findings by Daily Sun indicated that the protesters had stormed the gate of the National Assembly to intensify call for the release of El-Zakzaky.
It was gathered that as the protesters advanced towards the gate, the security operatives quickly shut it, while security was also beefed up at the first and second gates.
Protests by members of the IMN agitating for the release of their leader has been recurring around the National Assembly.
However, this is the first time the House would be expressing concern over moves by the group to gain entrance into the premises.
According to a witness, members of the group had threatened to force the gate open if the National Assembly leadership failed to attend to them.
The protesters later descended on the gate, shaking it violently in a bid to force it open.
The IMN members had embarked on a mass protest on Tuesday to commemorate their leader’s 68th birthday anniversary and intensify demands for his release.
As at time of filing this report, normalcy had returned and the protesters moved out and continued with their protest outside the gate.
Meanwhile, the House yesterday resolved to probe alleged $27 billion oil revenue lost by Federal Government since 1999 to date, due to delay in the review of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act.
The green chamber took the resolution after it passed the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act Amendment Bill for second reading. The bill which seeks to increase Federal Government’s share of the revenue accruing from oil exploration by 50%.
The Deputy House Leader, Hon. Idris Wase, who moved the motion, said the investigation became necessary in order to ascertain the position of the Federal Government as stipulated in the information provided by the Executive.