Civic groups condemn SSS siege on NASS

The siege at the National Assembly by security operatives from the DSS
The siege at the National Assembly by security operatives from the DSS

The Nigeria Election Situation Room, a coalition of civic groups, has condemned Tuesday’s development at the National Assembly saying it is unconstitutional.

The coalition, in a statement jointly signed and read by its chairperson, Clement Nwankwo, on Tuesday evening described as “a serious threat to democracy the actions of the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Police and security forces, in barricading the gates of the National Assembly and preventing the functioning of an independent arm of government.”

The National Assembly was taken over by SSS operatives earlier Tuesday, amidst claims that there was an attempt to forcibly remove Senate President Bukola Saraki from office.
Scores of senators and members of the House of Representatives were initially blocked from entering into the National Assembly premises, but all of them were later allowed to move in after threatening to force their way in.

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, consequently ordered the sack of the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Lawal Daura, with immediate effect.

Most Nigerians including leaders of opposition parties condemned the actions of the security agencies.

Ekenne Campaign AD

The UK government also expressed concern, saying it was monitoring the development.

“These actions are unconstitutional and negate Nigeria’s democratic development putting almost 20 years of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in great crisis and danger. Nigeria’s Constitution and laws and the National Assembly Rules define clear procedures for removal of presiding officers”, the civic groups said in the statement.

“Seeking to forcibly and violently interfere with the leadership of the National Assembly, points to dictatorship. Civil Society and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) fought very hard against the military dictatorship that seized Nigeria in December, 1983 in a coup led by General Muhamadu Buhari and enthroned democracy in 1999.

It is our concern that today’s barricade of the National Assembly represents a series of undemocratic actions by the executive arm of government that poses major questions about Nigeria’s practice of democracy.

Okowa Campaign AD

“This falls into a growing list of deliberate attempt to undermine the constitutional order by this government. We note with appreciation the decisive step taken by the Acting President to sack the DG DSS.”

The Situation Room is made up of civil society organisations working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria. Such groups include Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), CLEEN Foundation, ActionAid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) among others.

Ekenne Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.