Wednesday July 24, 2019 2:30 AM

House of Reps urges FG to dialogue with Shiites

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to urgently engage the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), known as Shiites, so as to amicably resolve their grievances.

This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by the Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) at plenary.

It could be recalled the Shiite group invaded the National Assembly Complex on Tuesday in protest, demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who had been held in detention.

In the process, the protesters clashed with security operatives, injured five officers and destroyed private and police vehicles.

The green chambers recommended that the internal security of the National Assembly be thoroughly assessed and adequate measures employed to avoid further occurrence.

The legislators called for compensation for the officers who were affected and hospitalised as a result of the incident.

The House stressed the need to ascertain if men of the Sergeant-At-Arms and the Nigerian Police Force were insured under group of the Personnel Accident Scheme and Workmen Compensation.

The House directed that the Committee on Police Affairs when constituted to incorporate personnel insurance in the National Budget.

Earlier, Elumelu said that the policemen were on ground to protect the workers and lawmakers and to ensure law and order in the complex.

He advised that there should be provision that will take care of the men of the Nigerian Police Force in case of such incident.

The lawmaker said that the House should set up a committee that will interface with the Executive to address the concerns of the group.

Elumelu underscored the need to take security of the complex seriously to prevent people who did not have business in the complex from coming in.

Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) recalled that he had moved for the Sergeant-At-Arms to bear arms.

He said that the assembly was empowered by the Constitution to make laws, urging his colleagues to make a law that would train the Sergeant-At-Arms and make them bear arms.

The Chief Whip of the House, Rep. Mohammed Mongonu (APC-Borno) said there were danger signs in the Shiite protest.

According to him, those of us from Borno will recall that this is how Boko Haram started by calling for the release of their leader.

He said that the legislators should join hands with the Executive to nip the crisis in the bud before it escalated.
Rep. Bamidele Salam (PDP-Osun) commiserated with the victims of the invasion by members of the Shiite group.

The lawmaker said that there was need to be futuristic and address the root cause of the Shiite crisis.
He called on the Federal Government to dispassionately look into the matter and settle it amicably.

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