Reacting to the attack on the Speaker, the National leader of the opposition party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu said:
By deploying hundreds of Police to prevent the Speaker of the House from entering the National Assembly, the President has revealed his hand to be a devious one. Having asked the Speaker to convene the House to consider extending the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, the Jonathan government then deployed the nation’s Police to stop the fourth ranking citizen of the nation from entering his place of work.
“Despite the removal of the Policemen and Security team around him he still proceeded at great personal risk to answer the call of duty. He took the risk, believing his personal situation was a secondary thing when the fate of the nation comes into question.
“No Commissioner of Police will ever embark on such an action without the clearance of the Inspector General of police and no IGP will order his men out here without approval by the Presidency. Nigerians know where the buck stops. The Jonathan Presidency must take full responsibility for the attack on the leadership of the National Assembly.”
“Instead of seriously treating Boko Haram’s incursion against our internal security, the President’s men decided to turn the event into a partisan and embarrassing circus. Perhaps they saw this as a birthday present to Mr. President. But it is nothing but brigandage masquerading as governance. What this Presidency does not realize is how terribly it has exposed its pettiness and dictatorial penchant for elevating narrow political interests above the fate of the nation.’” Tinubu said.
However, speaking at a news conference, the police Spokesman said: “The policemen on ground acted according to their discretion and to the best of their ability. I am satisfied with what the police men did yesterday, the thing is that law and order must be respected at all costs and at all times.”
He insisted that the police mounted the cordon following intelligence reports and comments attributed to stalwarts of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, who had earlier on Wednesday picketed the Police Force headquarters and promised to invade the offices of INEC, the National Assembly and the Presidency.
Ojukwu argued that other members of the National Assembly who conducted themselves in an orderly manner were searched and cleared to enter the premises.
On the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, he alleged that he had hinted that he would arrive with a motley crowd of thugs and bad elements.
‘The speaker came with thugs, refused to be searched and six of the hoodlums (members) attacked a police man, after which the police tear-gassed the Speaker and his riotous crowd so as to restore order,’’ he added.
He denied that the police acted at the behest of the President President Goodluck Jonathan over the issue just as it was untrue that the police allegedly locked the gate on sighting the Speaker.
Meanwhile, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday asked the IGP, Suleiman Abba to as a matter of urgency institute a full investigation into the circumstances which led to the heavy presence of armed security operatives at National Assembly and the prevention of Speaker Tambuwal and other lawmakers from gaining access to the complex to deliberate on the extension of emergency rule in the North-East.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, who spoke gave the police, 72 hours to unravel the facts surrounding the development.
Metuh said, “In the light of accusations and counter accusations, over the unfortunate incident that led to the shutdown of the National Assembly on Thursday, the National Working Committee of the PDP has called on the IGP to institute full inquiry to unravel the circumstances and facts surrounding the development within the next 72 hours.
“The sanctity of the National Assembly as an arm of government and citadel of democracy must be upheld at all times… the matter should not be shrouded in controversy, sinister plots and mundane accusations.