ABUJA — PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said he was embarrassed by the invasion of the Senate by suspected hoodlums, who made away with the mace, which is the symbol of authority of the upper chambers, adding that proper investigation would be carried out to fish out those behind the invasion.
This came as the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, told President Buhari to call the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to order and compel him to obey the laws of the land.
They also described the arraignment of the Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West, on wheelchair by the police as barbaric and uncivilised, saying it did not give a good image to the nation’s democracy.
Meanwhile, the two presiding officers of the National Assembly said the 2018 budget report would likely be laid in the two chambers this week for its possible passage next week.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Senate President said the meeting was at the instance of President Buhari to brief them on the outcome of his bilateral meeting with the American President, Mr Donald Trump.
Saraki also said that issues of the invasion of the Senate by hoodlums on April 29, when the President was away to London, the United Kingdom to attend Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM; refusal ofInspector General of Police to honour invitation extended to him by the Senate as well as the passage of the budget were discussed at the meeting.
On their mission at the Villa, Saraki said: “We came on the invitation of Mr. President. He wanted to brief us on his trip to the United States and also the issue of the budget. We also talked about the invasion of the National Assembly, which he showed great concern and said action would be taken to investigate it.
“You see, we are here today, it was the initiative of Mr. President to brief us on his visit to America and to engage on discussions and I think that is a good sign.
“We, at the National Assembly, have always been ready to give all our support to the executive and we will continue to work along those lines.
President Muhammadu Buhari (middle), Senate President Bukola Saraki (left)and Speaker Yakubu Dogara (right) during the meeting between President Buhari and the Leadership of the National Assembly at the State House, Presidential Villa Abuja. Photo of Abayomi Adeshida 07/05/2018
“As I said, the presidential system we operate, we sometimes have the responsibility to check the excesses of the executive. So, there will always be times we will disagree but by and large, we will always work for the interest of Nigerians and we will always keep moving on.”
On the passage of the 2018 budget that is pending at the National Assembly, the Senate President said the report would be laid within the week for its possible passage next week.
He said, “Hopefully, it will be laid this week. It can be laid this week and passed early next week but we are hoping it will be laid this week.”
Also fielding question on President Buhari’s response to the invasion of the senate, he said: “Of course, he sees it as an embarrassment to the country and that there will be a proper investigation because it is not just about the National Assembly, it is about the country.”