The Nigerian Senate has resumed plenary after the mace, the official symbol of authority, was forcefully taken away by suspected thugs earlier on Wednesday morning.
The commencement of the plenary, with a substitute mace in place, was preceded by an executive session where the forceful removal of the mace was discussed.
“The session is holding with the mace, the official symbol of authority firmly in place, and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, presiding,” Senate spokesman Sabi Abdullahi said in a statement.
A correspondent reported that plenary was proceeding in the Red Chamber at about 11.15 a.m. when some persons made their way into the session and took the mace away.
The intruders had overpowered the Sergeants-at-Arm before going for the mace while Ekweremadu was presiding at the plenary.
Abdullahi said: “The Senate also decided that it will get to the roots of this sad assault on democracy and an obvious act of treason which the seizure of the mace by some armed hoodlums represents. The hoodlums severely attacked some members of staff of the National Assembly, particularly the Sergeant-at-Arms on Chamber duties.”
He noted that the Senate has mandated the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Kpotum Ibrahim and Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), Mallam Lawan Daura, to retrieve the mace stolen by the hoodlums within 24 hours.
Senator Ekweremadu, however, insisted that all legislative matters scheduled for Wednesday would be concluded before plenary is adjourned.
“We are determined to conclude all matters slated on the Order Paper for today, even if it means us sitting until 6 pm”, says Ekweremadu.