A Civil Society Organisation under the aegis of #OCCPYNASSUNLTD on Tuesday staged a peaceful procession tagged #OPENNASS in Abuja to demand the scrapping of Nigeria’s upper legislative house, as well as transparency and accountability in the budget process.
The procession began at the Unity Fountain, near Transcorp Hilton Hotel, with the demonstrators carrying placards and Nigeria flags singing anti-government songs. The group also demanded:
• Public access legislative to the budget;
• Reversal of the Senate’s recent amendment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) Act;
• Removal of the immunity clause for criminal matters;
• Discontinuation of the practice of constituency projects;
• A unicameral legislature; and
• Abolition of the joint state and local government account.
Arriving at the main gate of the National Assembly, the demonstrators hoisted Nigerian flags, placards and canopies, forcing the security operatives manning the gate to shut down the entrance.
Speaking to journalists on behalf of the group, the co-convener, Retson Tedhedke, expressed displeasure over the myriad of problems that bedeviling the country, and stressed that all arms of the government must participate in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to check the massive corruption in the government.
He asserted that the Senate must be scrapped, towards making the National Assembly a unicameral legislature, insisting that the current bi-cameral structure is too expensive.
He argued that the National Assembly has refused to open its budget to the public because it is being used as a conduit pipe to siphon money, and called for a legislation that would mandate government agencies to patronise Nigerian products.
"Rule of law has now become rule of fraud,” he declared. “Politicians should serve and not be served. Nigeria revenue is down to 70% but the salaries and allowances of political office holders are on the increase".
Tedhedke said that #OCCPYNASSUNLTD will continue to occupy the National Assembly and other government agencies until the leadership of those agencies come out to listen to their demands.
Also speaking at the rally, showbiz legend Charlie Boy said that he was present to lend his support and to encourage the youths who had decided to speak out against their oppressors. He urged Nigerian youth to fight to retrieve their future from those who have stolen it from them.
He declared that it is time for Nigerians to speak out to stop the corrupt politicians who have looted the commonwealth.
#OCCPYNASSUNLTD vowed to occupy Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the judiciary, and all the Federal Ministries and Agencies.
The group dismissed the Senate’s amendment of the CCB and CCT law as self-serving and untimely.