Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have said no amount of intimidation would make the National Assembly to abandon its core mandate.
Saraki and Dogara spoke while addressing some pro-National Assembly protesters, under the aegis of the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, in Abuja on Thursday.
The National Assembly leaders, through their representatives at the rally, Senators Olamilekan Adeola, Samuel Anyanwu and Abdufatai Buhari, addressed the protesters.
Adeola, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said the legislature would continue to play its constitutional roles and not allow itself to be distracted.
He urged Nigerians to believe in the National Assembly, which, he said, had resolved to ensure that Nigerians got their share of democratic dividends.
Adeola said, “Let me stand on behalf of the leadership of the National Assembly under Senator Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to thank the people of this country for coming out in their numbers like this to say ‘no to killing of the legislature.’
“Like you have rightly said, the legislature remains the symbol of democracy. If by tomorrow there is an institution of democracy that needs to be shut down; to say there’s no more democracy in Nigeria, it is the legislature because we remain the voice of the people; we remain the representatives of the people and we are the spokespersons for the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
According to him, the governance of the country rested only on the 469 legislators in the National Assembly, the President and the Vice-President.
He stressed that every other person in government was either an appointee or an agent of an arm of the government.
In his speech, the CO-convener, CDNDC, Mr. Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said the group was concerned about the recent strain in the relationship between the executive and the legislature.
He said the protest was meant to draw the attention to the alleged continued efforts by the executive to undermine the legislature.
Atoye said, “We are here to inform the world that democracy is under threat in Nigeria; that democracy is being undermined in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“You will recall that the only institution that is always outside any time we have military aberration and interregnum is the institution of the National Assembly. But we have seen some kind of very wicked satanic and devilish attempts to destroy the National Assembly by some people who come out with some kind of obnoxious propositions about the need to scrap the Senate or the National Assembly. (Punchng.com)