- Unidentified persons sighted at the complex
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The management of the National Assembly is considering the idea of establishing an arms- bearing elite force to beef up security within the complex.
This is sequel to the storming of the Assembly complex by very strange persons in very recent times.
Sources at the complex told THISDAY wednesday that in the last few days the complex had been stormed by strange people dressed in funny-looking dresses.
A management staff of the National Assembly who spoke on condition of anonymity expressed his concern at the worrisome security situation at the legislative complex.
He said: “Yes, we have this dangerous intelligence reports that the National Assembly may be a victim of terrorist attack and we are not joking with it. Several steps are being taken but many stakeholders are not showing the needed co-operation. The way strange and very suspicious looking persons throng the National Assembly complex in recent times is worrisome. The situation has overstretched security architecture in the Assembly. Many of them if confronted at the gates are quick to resort to claims of being constituents of one lawmaker or the other. The point must be made that the National Assembly is not a place to meet constituents or have any form of ceremony with them. It is a place for serious legislative businesses bordering on the country’s socio-political and economic life”.
The senior staff also stressed that “the point must be made that the kind of persons who now sit as members of both chambers of the National Assembly are such that command security attention. They are people who had held very prominent and sensitive positions at various levels in the recent past. Having occupied such positions meant more security burden on the National Assembly to forestall eventuality of any sort.”
To address the disturbing security situation, a 12-man security sub-committee set up in December, 2019 by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr. Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori, had recommended that “an arms-bearing elite force be established for the National Assembly”.
The sub-committee headed by the National Assembly Sergeant – at-arms, Brigadier General Mohammed Danwalis (rtd) had recommended far- reaching measures to address the situation.
Some of the committee’s recommendations which are yet to be implemented include that the National Assembly should procure 15 additional security vehicles and motorcycles for patrol and the need to procure more radio and communication equipment to enhance response capacity on the part of security agencies, among other.
When contacted on the issue, National Assembly’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Yahaya Dan-Zaria, while confirming the security challenge, expressed worries and concerns over the ugly development.
He however noted that steps are being taken by the Assembly management to rectify the situation.