Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday condemned the blockade early today of the National Assembly gates by security operatives, describing the action as “illegal and undemocratic’’.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Paul Ibe, in Abuja, Abubakar said that the purpose of the blockade was to force a change in the leadership of the Senate.
The security personnel, who barricaded the entrance to the National Assembly complex as early as 7 a.m., barred some lawmakers of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from entering the premises.
He condemned “completely, this atrocity and called on all those involved to put Nigeria first and abandon this madness.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, guarantees both the independence of the legislature and Separation of Powers.
“Nigeria is a democracy not a military dictatorship and we, the people will never return to tyranny.”
The former vice president also urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to uphold the Constitution and law and order, which they swore to uphold on May 29, 2015.
“We warned that if what occurred in Benue last week was not checked on time, it would escalate to the federal level. Today we are seeing that warning in play.
“The Acting President, being himself, a professor of law, ought to know that setting such a precedent is an invitation to anarchy’’.
He said that there were better uses of the security forces at this time than to block the country’s legislature.
“Our people are languishing in the midst of unprecedented insecurity and nationwide killings.
“To, therefore, deploy our security forces in this present manner while Nigerians face these challenges is an abdication of responsibility, to say the least.”
Abubakar advised all Nigerians to be watchful and mobilise to defend democracy, saying that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Meanwhile, food vendors on Tuesday took advantage of the barricade of the National Assembly entrance by security operatives to make brisk business.
Newsmen, the assembly workers and other Nigerians, who were barred from entering the assembly complex, resorted to the vendors for food as they waited at the entrance.
Security operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) had as early as 7 a.m., barricaded the entrance to the complex, denying some lawmakers, journalists and staff of the assembly, access into the premises.
The lawmakers were later, at about 9 a.m., allowed into the premises, but newsmen, assembly workers, including Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolorin, and other Nigerians, continued to be barred from entry.
The entrance of the assembly where the barred persons gathered was littered with bottles of water and soft drinks, groundnut peels, and used food packs among others.
One of the vendors, Mrs Hauwa Ismaila, said that the development at the assembly entrance was unusual, but had however, made her to make business and gain.
She said “today is better than other days. My food is almost finished.’’
Another vendor, who pleaded anonymity, said “my buns is finished. I thank God.’’
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