Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was forced to walk into the venue of an international conference on security and development held at Hotel Seventeen in Kaduna on Monday as security operatives subjected his car to thorough checks supposedly for bombs.
The event, which attracted dignitaries, had soldiers on guard and their insistence on searching every car including that of the Speaker attracted protest from his security details.
It was gathered that the speaker arrived the venue at 9.16 am ahead of other VIPs and was stopped from gaining immediate access to the hotel premises by the soldiers who insisted that every car must be searched.
Their insistence forced a visibly angry Tambuwal to alight from his car and walked into the hotel premises and into conference hall, leaving behind his official car with the full compliment of the speaker’s flag and insignia of his office.
A security official who was present at the scene and crave anonymity describe the incident as unbelievable as according to him, foir period he has been in the security service, he has never seen such an embarrasing situation.
“Initially, we never knew it was the Speaker coming, but on getting closer, I discover that it was the speaker, but I heard one of the soldiers saying they must search the car. But the security officials attached protested, but their protest fell on deaf. I saw the speaker came down and walked away”, he said.
Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media, Imam Dalhatu Imam who confirmed the incident, told The Nation that it was highly unusual for security operatives to search a staff car belong to the speaker.
Asked what such an action portend for the nation’s democracy, Imam said that Nigerians should be able to judge the action of the security agents saying “What they are doing is undermining the legislature as a whole. It is not about the speaker, but the institution.
“We are just urging them (security) to be mindful of the fact that the institution must be protected at all times. The constitution provides that the integrity of the legislature and the executive be protected at all times. If it cannot be protected, then it is unfortunate”.
He said that the soldiers subjected the Speaker’s car to a search, using anti bomb detectors, saying “if the number four citizen of this country can be subjected to such treatment, only God knows what will happen”.