The House of Representatives on Thursday proposed the procurement of firearms for the Sergeant-At-Arms at the National Assembly.
The move, which came under a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by Rep Ossai Ossai (PDP-Delta), is to act as a check against future invasion of the chambers of the National Assembly.
Ossai, while raising the motion for the need to allow the Sergeant-At-Arms to procure arms, said it was a universal standard practice.
He stressed that it had become necessary because of the recent upsurge of security threats to the National Assembly.
The lawmaker noted that in other democratic nations, Sergeant-At-Arms bear arms, and that National Assembly security personnel cannot operate differently.
“There is an urgent need to train the Sergeant-At-Arms of the National Assembly on the use of firearms and other self-defence mobile electronic devices.
“A well trained Sergeant-At-Arms on the use, bearing, procurement and storage of firearms will give the lawmakers and the entire National Assembly premises the needed safety and a better security protection it deserves,” Ossai said.
The House, therefore, resolved to amend the National Assembly Service Commission Act of 2014 to establish a fully fledged training academy as a unit of the office of the Sergeant At-Arms of the National Assembly.
It also resolved to amend the Standing Orders of the House by adding that one of the rules of the Sergeant-At-Arms is the bearing and use of firearms for the protection of legislators, National Assembly premises and its precincts.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.
The House, therefore, mandated its Committees on Police and Legislative Compliance to liaise with the Presidency and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that legislative activities had been disrupted in recent times by thugs who snatched the mace unchallenged in the Red Chambers of the Senate.