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Pulse Opinion Lawmakers who turned away from Aso Rock were really petty

Saraki, Dogara should have known better than turning away from Aso Rock over security checks.

  • Published:
Dinner with President Buhari at the State House play

Dinner with President Buhari at the State House

(Presidency)
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When lawmakers led by Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara arrived Aso Villa this week for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, they refused to be screened.

When the security officials at the Aso Villa gates made it clear that the security screening had to be carried out in accordance with laid down rules, the lawmakers turned back from the Villa in a fit and returned to Saraki’s apartment to rant, snarl and sulk.

Bauchi gov and speaker are fighting, here's why play Speaker Yakubu Dogara (Paradigm)

 

To massage their bruised egos, Buhari dispatched his Chief Of Staff Abba Kyari to placate the lawmakers into returning to the Villa for the meeting. Even at that, most of them declined pleas to return; with only Saraki and Dogara making the trip back to the State House.

On the list of petulant actions from our lawmakers in recent times, this has to take the cake.

ganawan da yayi da yan majalisar dokoki play Principal officers of NASS meet Buhari (Presidency)

 

Security clearance and handing out electronic tags to visitors outside public or private buildings has become imperative in the age of suicide bombers and so much insecurity. As lawmakers, Saraki and his team should know better.

You don’t just drive through the gates of a facility housing a nation’s president because you are a member of parliament. All the lawmakers who threw their toys out of the pram last Thursday should be told that the Villa security personnel are given stern instructions bordering on keeping the president safe. And if doing their jobs mean asking all the lawmakers perched inside a white Coaster bus to disembark for screening, then so be it.

ALSO READ: How NASS big boys got bounced at Aso Villa gate

I have been to the national assembly a few times. You don’t just walk or drive in. There are scanners, stern looking security personnel and multiple entrances everywhere. If the national assembly complex is so heavily guarded, why shouldn’t Aso Villa, where the nation’s number one citizen carries out the responsibilities of his office?

Offa Robbery: Read full Police statement on new 'evidence' against Saraki play Senate President Bukola Saraki (The Guardian)

 

The president of the United States still subjects himself to security checks even in the White House. The first family in the United States and around the world still go through mandatory security routines because it’s not about the individuals, it’s about the office of the president.

We have to run a country where the laws of the country apply to everyone; where the law is no respecter of persons and where laid down rules and regulations are respected by everyone no matter the position they wield or their status in society.

Members of the House of Representatives play House of Reps during plenary (@YakubDogara /Twitter)

 

The legislators abandoned a most important budget meeting with the president because they felt slighted and embarrassed? Heck, this was a most germane meeting whose deliberations and outcome would affect the lot of millions of constituents.  The political class really has to do better.

I like the fact that the president pacified the angry lawmakers and apologised as the ‘bigger man’. But if you ask me, Aso Rock is blameless here.

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