NASS plans to arm Sergeant- at- Arms to protect Legislators
By Thomas Abirhire
The House of Representatives has put forward suggestion to procure fire arms for the National Assembly security known as Sergeant-at-Arms.
The proposal which is contained in a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai is predicated on the need to curb further invasion of the National Assembly complex.
It would be recalled that on August 7, 2018, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), invaded the National Assembly preventing lawmakers and workers from accessing the complex. Also, on April 18, thugs invaded the Senate chamber and carted away the Mace.
Leading the debate, Ossai who noted that the proposal was not new as it is a universal standard practice, said that this had become necessary given recent security threats in the complex which caught the Sergeant-at- Arms off-guard.
He noted that in other democratic nations, Sergeant-at-Arms bear arms as such, the Nigerian National Assembly security personnel cannot operate in isolation.
“There is an urgent need to train the Sergeant-At-Arms of the National Assembly for the use of firearms and other self-defense mobile electronic devices.”
“A well trained Sergeant–at-Arms on the use, bearing, procurement and storage of firearms will give the lawmakers and the entire National Assembly premises the needed safety it deserves.
The House consequently resolved to amend the National Assembly Service Commission Act of 2014 to establish a full- fledged training academy as a unit of the office of the Sergeant-At-Arms of the National Assembly.
It also resolved to amend the Standing Orders of the House by inclusion that one of the rules of the Sergeant-At-Arms is the use and bearing of firearms for the protection of legislators, National Assembly premises and its precincts.