Reps In Rowdy Session Over Shiites, Police Clashes

Written by on July 24, 2019

There was a rowdy session in the House of Representatives on Tuesday over the recent clashes between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the police.

Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, had led members into the chamber for proceedings of the day.

With no announcement or communication from the Presidency, Mr Mohammed Bello (Kano) raised a matter of urgent public importance on the protests by the Shiites in Abuja.

He said, “If urgent steps are not taken to proscribe Islamic Movement of Nigeria or declare their assembly unlawful in Nigeria, the group may likely arm itself and turn a deadly group.”

The lawmaker was worried that the incident was capable of disorganising the peaceful coexistence in the country.

He said the police force seemed to be overwhelmed and called on the Inspector General of Police to declare the gathering of the group as illegal.

Bello condemned the unnecessary loss of lives and properties as a result of violent protest by the group and stressed the need for improved intelligence gathering from the security agencies to forestall the unleashing of further mayhem, especially in the city centre of Abuja.

On his part, Mr Stanley Olajide called for meaningful dialogue to tackle the problem before it spirals out of control.

He stated that the government cannot be seen to condone the death of its citizens despite their position of the equation, a position which enjoyed the support of Mr Chinedu Obidigwe who decried the nationwide spread of restiveness in different forms.

Mr Francis Agbo, in his contribution, blamed the porosity of security checks and intelligence gathering for some of the unlawful acts of mayhem people faced recently.

He, therefore, called on the security agencies to come before the House and explain their shortfall despite huge appropriated funds.

The lawmaker also called on the Executive to obey the court order if it has ordered the release of the leader of the Shiites while he was being prosecuted.

Some members who contributed to the motion called for speedy and decisive action on the part of the government to serve as a deterrent to other insurgents.

Others also called on the House to use their law-making rights for the good of the safety of Nigerians nationwide and invite the heads of the security agencies to brief the House on the measures put in place to address the nation’s security challenges.

Meanwhile, the House Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, informed his colleagues that he had been earlier mandated by the Speaker to engage the protesting Shiites on behalf of the House.

He stated that he assured them that he would extend their grievances to the leadership of the House who would undoubtedly forward the same to the Presidency.

The lawmaker, however, decried the manner in which the group began to attack people in sight, including the body of the National Assembly the very next day.

He said that no one was above the law and they should be held accountable.

In his response, Speaker Gbajabiamila wondered why the group did not keep faith with the agreement it entered with the delegation of the House.

He said the protesters they breached the agreement and called for an urgent and decisive action to deal with the situation.

The Speaker, thereafter, called for an Executive session to deliberate on some sensitive areas on the issue.

On resumption of normal plenary, Mr Wole Oke moved an amendment for the House to set up an ad-hoc committee to interface with the Executive arm of government to permanently resolve the agitation of the Shiites.

The motion was voted on and passed as amended.

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