Two Nigerian opposition parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) in separate statements on Tuesday condemned the siege to the National Assembly by security officials.
The Pan-Igbo socio-cultural association, Ohaneze Ndigbo, also decried the incident.
The siege lasted several hours until Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced the sack of the Director-General of the State Security Service, Lawal Daura, whose masked officials led the raid.
Hailing Mr Osinbajo for sacking Mr Daura, the PDP, however, called on the National Assembly to deploy all legislative instruments against President Muhammadu Buhari to protect democracy in Nigeria.
In a statement by its publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said “in sending armed security men to invade the National Assembly, blocking lawmakers from accessing the legislative chambers on Tuesday, President Buhari had crossed the line.”
It said the act placed the nation’s democracy in jeopardy and was setting it on the path of anarchy.
“The invasion of our highest legislative institution by agents of the Buhari-led executive, a few months after the Senate mace was blazingly carted away by armed hoodlums, is condemnable, reprehensible, unpardonable, and completely unacceptable.
“It has become clear that the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) intend to forcefully overrun and ultimately shutdown the highest lawmaking organ of the Nigerian government and pave the way for the total suspension of constitutional rule in the country.”
The PDP further called on Britain and other members of the international community to condemn “the ugly development in the country.”
In another statement, the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus , also urged the United Kingdom to expel President Buhari from London where he said he is “hiding to plan the undermining of democracy in the country”. mr Buhari is currently on vacation in London.
But Mr Secondus said Britain should not allow its “environment be turned into a haven for anti democracy conspirators.
The SDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Alfa Mohammed, said the invasion of the National Assembly was a breach of the the 1999 Constitution, which enjoins separation of powers and independence of the legislature.
“We are gradually being pushed to a state of anarchy due to the desperation of the government in power to force a change in the leadership of the Senate.
“This conduct amounts to assault on the democracy which we risked our lives and fought for, and a declaration by government that we can all take the law into our own hands! This desperation must stop,” the party stated.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Uche Achi-Okpaga, Ohaneze described the incident as disgraceful and disappointing.
“Recent events in Nigeria, climaxing in the blockade and prevention of marked adversary Senators and House Of Representative Members from gaining access into the legislative building altogether, are not coming to us as surprises”.
“Instead, they are sprouting in alarming crescendos in crystal vindication of our stand that only a restructured Nigeria can thrive henceforth”.
“The foundations of Nigeria have been pulverized and until restructured will continue to nosedive irretrievably.”
“The event of today in particular is raw as it is a clueless brandishing from the executors. Nothing more can be an impeachable offence than this callous desecration of the National Assembly which is the symbol of democracy,” he said.
“To offer any reason(s) for this igneous and ignominious display is to merely dwell in whipping sentiments.”
Ohaneze insisted that the police and the SSS acted on “instructions from above to the chagrin of helpless and horribly dumbfounded Nigerians.”