War As IGP Refuses To Recognise Tambuwal As Speaker, Declares Lawmakers Thugs
The Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, finally showed up at the House of Representatives after several days of ignoring their invitation to explain the barricade of National Assembly by the police which led to fracas as some legislators scaled the fence to gain entrance.
The meeting headed by Usman Bello Kumo was meanwhile ill-fated. It ended suddenly because he publicly refused to recognise Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker in his speech.
He simply addressed him as “Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal”, a title that angered members of the House Committee on Police Affairs.
IGP said there was information made available to the Nigeria Police that the National Assembly was going to be invaded.
He said, “The police high command directed the Commissioner of Police, FCT, to strengthen the security arrangement in the assembly, the police headquarters and the INEC headquarters.
“In the process of safeguarding the security of the National Assembly on the 20th of November, we collaborated with the National Assembly Sergeant-at-Arm according to laid down procedures.
“Members were being asked to identify themselves before they could be allowed into the premises.
He proceeded to say that one Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal led a group of thugs to overpower the security at the first gate. A move he claimed led the police to lock down the second gate and fire a canister of teargas.
“The invasion of the National Assembly by large number of suspected thugs caused a reinforcement at the second gate.
“We saw how security at that gate was compromised and we are investigating the issue of teargas thrown at people,’’ Abba said.
Meanwhile, his address to the “Speaker of the House as “one Alhaji Tambuwal” drew the ire of committee members who asked the IGP to rightly address the speaker of the house according to protocol.
Abba answered that the subject was before the court, and as such he could not comment on it.
Chairman of the committee, Rep. Usman Kumo (Gombe-PDP) in his reaction insisted that the speaker and his office must be honoured and addressed propely.
In addition, Rep. Hakeem Muniru (APC- Lagos) said that IG must retract his statement of calling the Speaker “Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal “ or “I take my leave as I would deem this seating as an illegal one’’.
With members threatening to walk out of the meeting if Abba would not recognise Tambuwal as the speaker, Bello-Kurmo called off the session suddenly.
The committee concluded that the discussions could no longer hold since the IG would not accord Tambuwal his respects.
Legislators stormed out of the venue angrily, stopping Bello-Kurmo from shaking hands with Abba or making efforts to see him off to the door.
The Senate has rejected representatives of the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, at its hearing yesterday, claiming that the IGP must appear in person.
Mr. Abba Suleiman on Friday shunned the invitation of members of the House of Representatives.
He was invited by the lawmakers to come and explained the reason for police invasion of the National Assembly
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