By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- SENATE President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Sunay visited a female Sergeant-At-Arms, Mrs. Sandra Davou who was on Wednesday injured when she and her colleagues struggled to stop thugs who invaded the Senate and stole its Mace.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Sanni Onogu, Saraki visited Mrs. Davou who lives in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and presently recuperating after she was treated and discharged from the hospital.
Saraki who was accompanied on the visit by his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Senator Isa Hamma Misau and Senator Baba Kaka Garbai, commended Mrs. Davou and her colleagues who had put up a spirited fight to prevent the invaders from gaining access to the Senate Chambers.
He also commended his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and all his colleagues who successfully took charge and safeguarded the National Assembly and the nation’s democracy, adding that the visit was meant to thank and show appreciation to Mrs Davou and her colleagues for their hard work, commitment and courage.
Answering questions from reporters during the visit, Saraki who was away in Washington on official assignment at the time the incident occurred, said: “I was told that few of our staff were injured during the invasion of the Senate last Wednesday, including Mrs. Sandra, who is very committed and hardworking.
“She was taken to the hospital and discharged and we felt that for the sacrifice they made by putting their lives at stake beyond the call of duty for our democracy, we have to come and appreciate her.
“I keep on emphasizing that what really defines a democratic nation is the parliament and the moment the parliament is not there, democracy does not exist.
“So what she and her colleagues have done, fills us all with gratitude and therefore we have come here to thank her and show that we really appreciate what she and her colleagues did,” he stated.
Saraki described last Wednesday, the day of the invasion, as a “sad day” and “disgrace” for the nation’s democracy and called for unity and firmness to eliminate all such undemocratic tendencies.
“My colleagues and I have said that the day of the unfortunate invasion was a sad day for democracy. It was a disgrace to our country at large and that such things should not be associated with our country. We must ensure we stand firm as a country to nip all those kind of undemocratic acts that exist in the bud.”
Meanwhile, former Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed has described the Wednesday incident where thugs stormed the Senate and went away with the Mace as akin to a Coup- d’etat, alleging that Nigeria as a country has descended to a level where the government of the day, would connive to subvert the nation’s democracy.
The former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PdP in a text message to Vanguard said, “What happened at the Senate was akin to a coup d’etat. It is unfortunate that such attack can happen at the Senate which is the second of the three arms of government with all the security supposed to be in place. It is obvious that some forces over and above Senator Omo-Agege were at play for the thugs to pass through all the check points and escape with the mace unhindered. We have decended to such low level where the government of the day connives in the subversion of democracy.
“Our democracy is under attack and in grave danger under this APC government. All democratic forces must join hands to save our hard earned democracy by making sure APC is defeated come 2019.”
Meanwhile, both Senators Matthew Urhoghide, PDP, Edo South, Mao Ohuabunwa, PDP, Abia North and Clifford Ordia, PDP, Edo Central have separately condemned the attack on the Senate, describing the action as a threat to the nation’s democracy.
On his part, Senator Urhoghide said, “The invasion of the Senate Chambers by ” official thugs” is extremely despicable because the action desicrated the santity and reverence for the upper, red chamber. The devious intrusion violated section 17 of the Senate Standing Rules of 2015, as amended.
“Also it violates the provision of section 60 of the 1999 constitution as amended which empowers the National Assembly to adopt its procedure for conducting its business. Actions taken and processes followed from its adopted procedures ought not to be challenged and disrupted by these villains as they are not elected members of the Senate.
On his part, Senator Ordia said, ” the invasion of the National Assembly and the removal of the Mace is highly condemnable.This is clear assault on our democracy.”
For Senator Ohuabunwa, ” it is a big threat and disgrace to Democracy. It is really unfortunate.”