It was meant to be a birthday get-together for one of his colleagues, Toby Chukwu, but the bizarre drama earlier in the day was not lost on the nation’s number five man and Vice Chairman of the National Assembly, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.
Operatives from the Department of State Services (DSS) overran the National Assembly shutting it down and preventing legislative duties from taking place for hours. Its Direcror-General, Lawal Daura, was fired for it by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, and was replaced by one of his immediate sub-ordinates, Matthew Seiyefa.
Dogara realised for a moment amidst the camaraderie and the side-chops that Nigeria’s democracy had received a heavy and embarrassing body blow. And he fears more of such blows are on the way from anti-democratic forces.
As he put It, “What you did today is not just a service to our fatherland, it is a service to democracy, actually you have ensure that our democracy survives and you have beaten back the callous hands of tyranny.
“What we have done therefore is service to our democracy and forever this day will go into history, as one of those days our democracy faced serious trials and that true men and women of courage were able to ensure that it survives.
“You should be vigilant as it is said by so many philosophers that vigilance is the condition upon which God has given man liberty.
“Once you compromise that, instantly is the punishment of your crimes; it has been said clearly.
“So we have to be eternally vigilant; it is not that today’s event has ended and democracy will not face any other trial, they will keep coming. I want to thank you all and I pray that as we retire to our home, God should remove fatigue from us and enable us to do more noble things for the benefit of this great country and our constituents.”