The House of Representatives on Thursday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant a license for the use of firearms by the Sergeant-At-Arms for the protection of legislators and the National Assembly premises.
This is just as the lawmakers resolved to amend the National Assembly Service Commission Act, 2014 to develop measures for the training of Sergeant-At-Arms on the procurement, use and storage of firearms.
The resolutions followed a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) on “the urgent need to address the desecration and security challenges on the invasion of National Assembly by security operatives.”
Ossai, while leading debate on the motion, had recalled the invasion of the National Assembly by masked operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) and hoodlums who carried away the Senate mace respectively on August 7 and April 18, 2018.
“The constant executive intimidation, interference and abuse have regrettably put the legislative institutions in a position to address the underlying security challenges.
“Section 12(2) of the National Assembly Service Commission Act, 2014, vests the Sergeant-At-Arms with all the powers, privileges and immunities of the police and other law enforcement agencies.
“There is an urgent need to train them for the use of firearms and other self-defence mobile electronic devices in the performance of their duties,” Ossai noted.
The lawmaker further acknowledged that a well-trained and armed Sergeant-At-Arm will give the lawmakers and other workers in the National Assembly the needed security and protection.
After debates, the motion was put into vote by Speaker Yakubu Dogara and was unanimously adopted.
The House thus mandated its Committees on Police and Legislative Compliance to liaise with the Presidency and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.