Occupy National Assembly Protests To Sack Saraki

A civil society organisation, Citizens United for Peace and Stability, staged a rally at the National Assembly on Tuesday, demanding “immediate resignation of Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki”.

The protesters, who called themselves #OCCUPYNASS, criticised the purchase of brand new 36 exotic Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) for the senators.

They insisted that the “exorbitant vehicles” must be returned.

They also asked lawmakers to revisit the 2016 budget in line with the Presidency’s desire for Nigeria.

The protesters, mostly youths, said Saraki should vacate his seat for what they called mounting corruption cases preferred against him in the country and internationally.

Apart from Saraki’s trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false declaration of assets, the group cited the alleged operation of offshore companies by Saraki in a tax haven.

The activists proceeded from the Unity Fountain in the Central Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja to the National Assembly.

As they marched toward the entrance to the National Assembly, they forced their way to the main gate.

Due to the number of the protesters, a security network mounted by regular and riot policemen collapsed.

The security operatives promptly shut the main gate, an action which prevented workers, lawmakers and other visitors to the National Assembly from either entering or leaving the complex.

The protesters formed a circle around the main gate to convey their demands.

Armed with placards containing various inscriptions, the protesters insisted on sealing off the National Assembly for at least the initial three days of their protest.

They vowed that they would only call off their protest when their demands are met.

The protesters said they would mount a permanent protest and paralyse the National Assembly, if their demands were not met.

Some of the placards displayed by the activists read: “Return exotic cars”, ”Saraki must go”, “Legislator stop budget padding”, “Enough is enough”.

Their leader, Mr. Sadiq Jidda, insisted that “Saraki must resign”.

He noted that his stay as the Senate President was no longer in the country’s interest.

He said: “What does a legislator has to do with projects? We are gathered here to occupy National Assembly. Senate President should immediately resign. Saraki’s integrity is in question and he has been indicted. Yes, he has not been convicted, but his integrity is in question.”

Meanwhile, a pro-Saraki group is insisting that he's not going anywhere; he must remain in office.
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