2018 Budget adjustments: Protesters block NASS entrance
A group identified as Citizens Actions to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN) on Tuesday thronged the entrance of the National Assembly (NASS) Complex protesting the adjustments made in the 2018 Appropriation Act by the Legislature.
The protesters arrived in about 11 luxurious busses, popularly known as “El-rufai bus”, playing music and chanting songs, calling for the resignation of the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki.
They carried placards which read: “Constituency projects is now corruption, it must stop”; “Nigerians are not represented in the sharing of the loot via constituency projects”; and “National Assembly not for armed runners,” among others.
The security personnel in a bid to maintain law and order, shut the main gate to the complex, preventing the protesters from entering the premises while the group tried to force their way in.
As a result, visitors and workers who were to resume their daily duties were also prevented from entering, forcing them to use alternative routes.
The convener of the group, Mr Ibrahim Wala, said that the NASS no longer represents the people of Nigeria.
He said that the many adjustments and introductions of several projects in to the 2018 Appropriation Act by the legislature necessitated the protest.
Wala said that constituency projects should be implemented in all constituencies represented by each member of the NASS.
He alleged that the members connived with contractors to collect the money and do not execute the projects that would have benefited citizens.
According to him, since 2004 to date, constituency projects have been appropriated for but nothing has changed.
“The worst of it is what we are seeing in the 2018 budget, these people inserted thousands of interns.
“We are here representing the entire citizens of this country; the crowd you see here represents the voices of Nigerians.
“Nigerians want a situation whereby when we vote individuals into office they should work with the people and not represent their own interests,” he said.
He urged the security personnel at the gate not to deprive the people of their right to access the premises in peaceful protest.
According to Wala, the group is made up of young women and men that are concerned with the cause of the nation.
No member of the NASS was available to address the protesters who had been denied access into the premises.
NASS resumed on Tuesday, July 3, after a three-week recess.