We shall always defeat acts of unconstitutionality- Saraki
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“It is a matter of record that yesterday, lawmakers and staff of the National Assembly were prevented from entering the National Assembly Complex by heavily armed security agents of the Department of State Services (DSS).
“The ensuring standoff was a show of shame that played itself out over several hours in full view of the country. In no circumstances should this have happened.
“The siege on the National Assembly was also an act of cowardice by those seeking to carry out an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate in flagrant disregard of the law
“This is not about us – Abubakar Bukola Saraki or Yakubu Dogara as individuals. It is not about Ike Ekweremadu, nor is it about Yusuf Lasun. We are speaking for our colleagues when we say that this is about the soul of Nigeria and what we represent as a country.
“This is a country where so much is expected of us. There are so many rungs of the ladder that we are supposed to have ascended as a nation. Instead we are wallowing in impunity and illegal show of force, all of which retard our progress.
“This is most disheartening. We don’t get any joy in saying: “We said so.” We don’t. However, some of you may recall that about two years ago, I stated that there was a government within this government.
“I said it then, and now, almost on a daily basis, we are seeing the manifestations of that government within a government. It beats one’s imagination how the head of a security agency could have authorized the brazen assault on the legislature that we saw yesterday.
“Only recently we saw in Benue how 8 members of the 30 members of State House of Assembly with the collaboration of security forces, DSS and police tried to impeach the Governor. Despite the threat to our lives, we shall continue to fight impunity and injustice in this country.
“Happily, by the actions that Nigerians took yesterday, they demonstrated our strong resolve as a nation not to give ground to oppression. The legislature, more than any other institution in this country, more than any other arm of government, represents the will of the people.
“We are elected by the people, and an assault on the legislature is an assault on the people of Nigeria. The forcible shutdown of the legislature was an unconscionable assault on a national institution, and thanks to all your efforts, the aggressors have been put to shame.
“The resistance mounted by staff of the National Assembly, our colleagues in both chambers and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who refused to leave the entrance of this Complex until the siege was broken, strengthens our faith in the people of this country.
“The rain fell, the sun rose, but Nigerians stood their ground in defence of democracy. With the strength of will demonstrated by everyone against unwarranted and unconstitutional militaristic might, the siege could not stand.
“They attempted to execute an illegal impeachment of the leadership of the Senate without the backing of the law, but they faltered. We are confident that, together, we shall always defeat acts of unconstitutionality.
“We want to thank Nigerians, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and National Assembly Staff, for standing up to be counted for democracy during yesterday’s siege.
“We thank the thousands who monitored the situation on radio, television and social media, voicing their outrage at the siege, thereby sending a clear message to those that hatched the plot that the Nigerian public would not buy this act of gangsterism using instruments of state.
“We also thank the international community – particularly the European Union that visited the complex – and the international press, for their prompt reactions to the invasion of the National Assembly.
“We also thank CSOs and Socio-cultural groups were emphatic in their statements during the crisis, and we very much appreciate their vigilance.”