Nigeria News: The Missing Mace Under The Bridge
Nigeria News takes a look at the circumstances that surround the seizing of senate mace by hoodlums.
Perhaps, this is not the right time to be a Nigerian. A time that Nigeria has become a symbol of ridicule and its leaders act more like thugs and insecurity pervades the high and low places.
It was late Chuba Okadigbo, the former President of the Senate that first went away with the mace and since his exploit at the red chamber, this singular symbol of authority has become an ordinary stick that Nigeria lawmakers use to scold their colleagues.
Okadigbo took the mace to his house to protect his office, after sensing the plan to impeach him. At the Rivers State House of Assembly, sometimes ago, a lawmaker carried the mace to whip his colleagues, following the impeachment of a speaker.
The first republic was not better, the parliamentarians were good in throwing chairs and table. Over the years, one had expected our politicians to have grown beyond this impunity but things had gone worse.
So, when there is a rancour in the “dishonourable” hallowed chambers, the first thing the clerk does is to protect the mace. The lawmakers may break each other’s heads. In as much as the mace lives, that arm of government is protected.
There is always a kind of solace anyway, whenever a mace is seized by a lawmaker, in that it will be recovered in time.
But what happened on Wednesday in which unidentified thugs gained entrance to the Senate chamber to seize the mace showed how deteriorated governance had become in Nigeria.
It shows how poor the country’s security is and of course it sends signals to ordinary people on the street that the country is not safe at all.
It became laughable that the stolen mace of the Senate of the most populous African nation was dropped under a flyover at the city gate of Abuja by those who seized it and nobody saw them when they put it there.
All these happened just because a senator, Ovie Omo-Agege representing Delta Central was suspended by the Senate.
The senator who claimed to have got a court injunction nullifying his suspension by the Senate appeared at the National Assembly, leading some thugs to the inner chamber and seizing the mace.
The NASS complex was thrown into chaos as the thugs made away with the Senate symbol of authority in the presence of the police and operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS.
Omo-Agege confidently strolled into the chamber like other lawmakers for the day plenary even when the Senate had not received any letter from the court that nullified Omo-Agege’s suspension.
Expectedly, Omo-Agege was arrested by the police but was released a few hours later. He claimed not to know the hoodlums who invaded the complex and that he was also astonished like other lawmakers the drama that just befell the NASS.
At the plenary, the Senate had to use the mace of the House of Representatives, which when it was taken away by the owner, another humorous senator, Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central gladly donated his belt as mace, pending the recovery of the original mace.
It sounds interesting to you. Yes, it was a real drama but the climax was that the mace was recovered under the bridge.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris in his usual pronouncement said that investigation has begun and that the perpetrators of the shameful seizing of the mace would be exposed.
“But now, let us tighten the security at the NASS,” He said.