#Occupy NASS

• Pro-Saraki protesters threaten to occupy Aso Rock

THE police and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on Thursday, averted a bloody confrontation between two group of protesters who occupied the entrance of the National Assembly in respect of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.

Members of Citizens in Defence of Democracy (CIDD), a group believed to be campaigning for the retention of Saraki in office, despite his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, had arrived at the gate of the National Assembly in the morning and began to move towards the canopies of the other group, #OcuppyNASS #Reclaim Nigeria, which is seeking Saraki’s ouster.

Tempers flared as soon as the #Occupy NASS group saw the CIDD members walking towards them, while members charged at each other.
Policemen and men of the NSCDC, however, moved swiftly by coming in-between the two groups to avert a violent clash.

Shortly afterwards, Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory, Wilson Inalegwu, arrived at the scene and immediately went to the camp of #OccupyNASS group to address them.

Inalegwu, who came with some senior police officers, appealed to the protesters to approve the re-opening of the main gate that had been under lock and key sine Tuesday, informing them that the closure was causing hardship for the people.

One of the coordinators of the group, Retson Tedheke, however, turned down the appeal of the police commissioner, saying that the gate would not be opened until the senators came out to address them.

Tedheke said another reason they would support the reopening of the gate was if the National Assembly leadership would allow them to move in and relocate to the open space directly in front of the White House.

The pro-Saraki protesters, armed with banners and posters, speaking through their coordinator, Ohazuruike Tochukwu, disclosed that they were in the National Assembly to draw the attention of Nigerians to the alleged injustice being perpetrated against Saraki, through the judiciary.

“We stand for accountability and transparency by all public office holders. We stand with Saraki and the National Assembly and demand that the executive should desist from impunity that led to the unpopularity of the last government.

“If our demands are not met by next week Wednesday, we shall commence a massive unprecedented move to occupy Aso Rock,” he said
Three senators, Dino Melaye, Shehu Sani and Ben Bruce, later met the group and collected their letter intended to be submitted to the Senate President.

He disclosed that the other group, #OcuppyNASS #Reclaim Nigeria, did not inform the Senate that they had a message to pass across, adding that “since their intention was to occupy the NASS, they are free to go ahead and exercise their rights.”

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