NASS Members Can Break Each Other’s Head But Executive Must Not Interfere – Buhari’s Aide
The Special Adviser on Political Matters in the Presidency, Babafemi Ojudu, has said that the executive should not interfere in legislative business.
He said this in an interview published by Vanguard on Sunday.
Ojudu, who condemned the invasion of the National Assembly by DSS agents, said that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo acted promptly by sacking DG DSS, Lawal Daura over the blockade.
Recall that masked and heavily-armed agents of the DSS invaded the National Assembly complex from 7am on Tuesday and blockaded lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from accessing their chambers.
According to Ojudu, Vice President Osinbajo panicked when he saw a video of the incident on television that Tuesday morning.
He said that the acting president sent him to the National Assembly Complex to check what was going on.
Ojudu said, “We were shocked to see DSS operatives at the National Assembly, particularly hooded, and it was very embarrassing to the Acting President.
“We then went out to look for information, particularly when people started calling us, that it was on TV that APC lawmakers had been allowed into the Assembly Complex and PDP lawmakers were not allowed in.
“Immediately I was asked to go in there to find out what happened. I got there about 11 am and found about 25 PDP lawmakers sitting down at the lobby of the National Assembly. I looked around, looking for APC members but I could not find a single one. I went back. What exactly is happening here? What we were told was that PDP members were not allowed into the chambers, that APC members were inside trying to impeach the Senate President.
“We found out that the information was not true. Then, what really happened? If you sensed that trouble was coming and you then decided to barricade, so how did those people manage to enter? It gave room to curiosity. And who did you discuss with before going to barricade?
“The Acting President was not informed. He was not told. If you are going to take such a measure as a security chief, you need to consult with the Commander-in-Chief of the country, the Chief Security Officer of the country needed to be informed and consulted, then, he will tell you whether it was right to do so or not right to do so. But he was in the dark, he didn’t know anything.
“He got to know about the incident like you and me. And we quickly tried to find out what went wrong.”
Addressing the insinuation that Osinbajo did not seek permission from President Muhammadu Buhari before sacking Daura, Ojudu said, “President Buhari is on vacation abroad. There is an Acting President. And if you look at what the Constitution requires in the case that the President is on vacation, you know that he has already transmitted a letter to the Senate indicating that the Vice President will act in his absence. So, therefore, he (Acting President) has all the powers.”
Speaking about those who said Osinbajo deserved praise for his prompt action, Ojudu said, “It is not even about praise. He has done what is right in the circumstance. He is not after praise. I am saying that whatever transpired between the Acting President and the President who is on vacation is not for me to come on television and disclose. But I am saying that, in this matter, the Acting President, in his own opinion, decided that what happened was not right for our democracy and he has taken a decision. What should be our concern should not be about praising because he does not require praising from anybody. We cannot tolerate brigandage in our national life. And the National Assembly is an arm of government that is independent; the executive should not be brought into it. If the National Assembly members want to go into the chambers and break one another’s head, let them go and do it. Let it be the National Assembly’s matter and not something with the executive.”