The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said the attack on the Senate on Wednesday was another lesson on the need to rethink the nation’s security structure.
Ekweremadu spoke when he received the leadership of the Nigerian Political Science Association, NPSA, which paid a solidarity visit to the Senate.
He said: “It is an embarrassment to Nigeria before the international community for someone to drive all the way into the National Assembly Complex, enter the hallowed chamber, and cart away its symbol of authority.
“It shows a breakdown of security and it is a setback to Nigeria’s drive for foreign investment because no one would be ready to invest money in such a system. So, it is a lesson that we cannot keep doing the same thing with our security system and expect a different result.
“It is also an irony that the people involved would organise armed bandits to rob the Senate of its mace since they understand the implication of what they have done.
“As a parliament, we will ensure that this does not happen again and insist that all the actors behind the drama are brought to book”.
He enjoined the Association to help the nation to rethink its governance and security structures in line with other federal systems.
Meanwhile, the leader of the delegation, who is also the President of the NPSA, Prof. Aloysius-Michaels Okolie, said the Association was at the National Assembly to solidarise with the Senate and condemn what happened.
He said: “Our Association is non-partisan. But we must speak the truth, stand by the truth, and protect the truth.
“Any group or person that perpetrated what we saw live on national television needed to have his head examined. A normal person cannot come here and desecrate the National Assembly, let alone infringe on the mace. It was not really an assault on the National Assembly, but the entire people you have been mandated to represent.
“The desecration of this hallowed chamber is so grave an event that it calls for an immediate national action to avert a reoccurrence and to bring the culprits, whom we regard as bandits to book.
“We are here to join other progressive forces in this country to demand justice. We demand the immediate prosecution of the actors involved. This matter goes beyond the cliché of being on top of the situation.
“We want to see people we put in this place as our representatives conduct their affairs in a manner devoid of any intimidation or any fear so that the best will come out of this hallowed chamber”.
Prof. Okolie commended Senator Ekweremadu and the Senate for the mature way the incident, saying that a serious crisis had been averted.
“We must appreciate the courage and temperament you exhibited and how the rest of the Senate restrained themselves because the target may not be the mace, but the calmness and leadership you exhibited made nonsense of whatever motives the perpetrators came with.
“We commend the Senate for the way you have been standing firm in taking decisions. It gives us the hope that we are at last getting to the point of seeing the independence of the National Assembly.
“NPSA will keep on assisting and collaborating with the National Assembly and any organisation that is desirous to enhance good governance in Nigeria, deepening democracy without fear or favour, and ensuring that the people have unfettered freedom to speak out in the face of tyranny”, he added.