Tension as National Assembly members resume plenary today

There was tension among National Assembly workers, journalists and staff of private establishments within the complex on Monday as the federal lawmakers prepare to resume plenary today (Tuesday). The Presidency’s letter to the leadership of the federal parliament alleging that some lawmakers failed to undergo screening at the airport, on arrival from a foreign trip recently, caused anxiety among the people at the complex on Monday.


Already journalists covering the Senate have vowed to steer clear of their press center on Tuesday because of the danger in sitting at the overcrowded facility with no feasible ventilation. Staff of the banks within the complex said they would attend to customers but with the highest conformity to the rules on social distancing and provision of hand sanitizer for customers.


The greatest fear among some members of the National Assembly staff was whether the federal lawmakers, who just returned from foreign trips would be part of the plenary today. A few of them, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, urged the leadership of the two chambers to excuse the affected legislators from coming to the office or attend plenary immediately.


When contacted, the spokesperson for the Senate, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, said he was not aware if his colleagues had gone for the coronavirus test. He also said he could not confirm if the affected senators would attend plenary. Akwashiki said, “There is no way that I will know if the affected senators have gone for the test or not because they don’t report to me.

I can also not confirm if they would be part of the plenary tomorrow (Tuesday) because I have no such information.  Akwashiki had told journalists covering the Senate to bear with the leadership of the red chamber over the poor state of ever crowded facility, pledging that something would be done about it soon.


He had said,  “There is no way we can close down the Press Centre. Doing so will mean closing down the Senate chamber too.” There were, however, strong indications on Monday that the leadership of the two chamber would adjourn plenary as from Tuesday (today)  as part of the measure to curb the alarming spread of COVID-19.

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