The Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South) has said neither she nor her aide slapped anyone, and no one definitely slapped her on Monday in the National Assembly complex.
But her story differs slightly from what members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) are claiming happened to their provost in the elevator, where Olujimi and her bodyguard were.
Apparently protecting his principal from any kind of bodily contact or harm, the security aide was said to have attempted to put a space between Olujimi and National Assembly staff thronging the interior of the elevator.
The staff, on their way to a crucial congress of the PASAN wpuld not have it, and pressed forward, since it was not an elevator reserved for lawmakers, but staff. The security aide reacted and an altercation ensued which led to an exchange of slaps.
“But the Senator was not touched,” a senior PASAN member, who did not want his name in print, said on Monday night.
He stated that matters almost got out of hand when the Senator’s office escalated the situation to the Police division in the Assembly complex.
“It was then we planned a showdown. We told anyone who cared to listen that if they made any attempt to lock up our provost, they should do same to all PASAN members. We closed the Congress meeting and flooded the Police office, but reason prevailed and the matter was resolved,” he added.
Said Senator Olujimi on Monday, “I went for a public hearing and I understood that there was another meeting upstairs so I got into a lift, yes it was a staff lift and I thought that everyone should be able in it and my security stood in front of me.
“Some gentlemen and women came in and were abusing, asking why he will shield anybody, ‘get out this is our lift.’ One of them just pushed him and then they had altercation, I just came out and told them that it was wrong and that is what happened.”
When asked if she ordered her bodyguard to assault the staff, Olujimi told journalists: “Could I have done that, is it possible, how can I ask anybody to slap? The boy came, and they brought him and I told him he should go because he knew that he didn’t do well. You didn’t do well because you were the one that slapped him. I didn’t even say a word all through because I stood at the back.
“It wasn’t my business, it was the business of the security man. Yes I was in the staff lift. But what says we can’t go in staff lift? When I see people standing outside in distinguished senators lift, I also ask them to come in because I believe that is the way it should be. How could I have slapped anybody at my age, and level. That is not possible.”