Members of the Citizens’ Action to Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), on Tuesday, stormed the main entrance of the National Assembly to demand the immediate resignation of Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
The group accused members of the National Assembly of siphoning funds meant for constituency projects in their various senatorial districts and constituencies.
It also frowned at “budget padding” and ‘illegal insertions” in the 2018 budget.
The convener of the group, Ibraheem Wala, while speaking, said the leaders of the National Assembly (Saraki and Dogara) lack the moral capacity to hold positions in authority.
“They have shown that they lack the requisite credibility and moral capacity to hold the position of authority
“It is clear that the insertions are huge, which also signifies the size of the criminality behind the intent to hijack the budget,” he said.
He called for the cooperation of the police and other security agents as he sought entrance into the National Assembly. Mr Wala stated that the National assembly arcade was designed to let Nigerians carry out protest and asked that his group be allowed to exercise their rights.
“We are calling on the attention of the police to understand that Nigerians are not here on their own personal capacity. They are representing the other Nigerians. We want a situation whereby if we vote for a representative, the representative should help the people not their own personal gain.
“We expect the security operatives here to respect us as citizens and let us exercise the rights bestowed on us. We are here in a peaceful way, so please don’t deny us our rights,” he said.
The protesters carried placards with several inscriptions on it. Some of the placards read-
“Where are the killers (in the) National Assembly? We have not forgotten Offa robbery and Kogi assassination so soon.
“Saraki must resign and stop mocking the dead. The world is waiting.
“Dino is sick to attend court sessions but he is first to act drama in Abuja Maitama.
“Constituency project is now corrupted, it must be formatted.
“Dear Legislators, diversion of thousands of projects in the budget is tantamount hijacking of budget.
“Our lawmakers are inserting illegal projects in the budget. They now compel the use of their corrupt contractors. The national assembly is not for armed robbers.
“Are you for the people and the constitution or for the projects and contracts? Nigerians are not represented in the sharing of the loots via constituency projects.
“We demand the arrest and prosecution of budget offenders in both legislative and executive.”
As at the time of this report, police officers were trying to disperse the crowd with tear gas and the protesters were throwing stones and sticks at moving vehicles.