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Letter from Africa: Heroes and villains of Nigeria's parliament siege

Masked men outside parliament in Nigeria

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In our collection of letters from Africa, Nigerian creator and novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani says scenes reassembling a coup in her nation have left many scratching their heads.

Nigerians nonetheless cannot say evidently why armed, masked males held our nation’s parliament below siege final week. However the alarming incident had a maximum joyous finishing.

They blocked all entrances to the development, denying lawmakers, civil servants and reporters get right of entry to.

It became out they had been operatives of the state’s undercover agent company, the Division of State Safety (DSS), headed by means of Lawal Daura.

The opposite guy on the centre of the drama is Senate President Bukola Saraki, who not too long ago defected from the ruling APC celebration to the primary opposition PDP.

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The anger boiled over as folks challenged the armed males about what they had been doing

He had known as a parliamentary assembly of nationwide meeting leaders – and it used to be this team that the armed males had been blockading.

One principle is that it used to be a strong-arm tactic to make Mr Saraki surrender in order that the APC can appoint a ruling celebration senate president in his position.

The opposite principle is that it used to be all staged to make it seem as though it used to be formally sanctioned to make the federal government glance unhealthy.

‘Invitation to anarchy’

Neither principle stands as much as logical scrutiny, however you must by no means let anything else marvel in relation to the antics of Nigerian politics.

In April, a disgruntled MP allegedly organised for intruders to hurricane the Senate and thieve its mace.

1534121846 77 letter from africa heroes and villains of nigerias parliament siege - Letter from Africa: Heroes and villains of Nigeria's parliament siege

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Media captionSecond intruders thieve ceremonial mace from Nigeria’s Senate

Choices within the higher chamber can’t be authorized with out the mace – a big decorative personnel that represents the legislature’s authority.

But if information unfold of the occasions final week, together with movies of indignant lawmakers in disagreement with the armed state operatives, even Nigerians expressed their condemnation.

President Muhammadu Buhari used to be away in the United Kingdom on holiday, leaving his deputy Yemi Osinbajo in rate.

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani:

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Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

“Not anything about Yemi Osinbajo excites the standard comedy that Nigerians have come to be expecting from our leaders”

“Nigeria is a democracy no longer an army dictatorship,” mentioned Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president and PDP presidential hopeful.

“The performing president, being himself a professor of legislation, ought to understand that atmosphere this sort of precedent is a call for participation to anarchy.”

And certainly it used to be Mr Osinbajo who changed into the hero of the day.

Now not most effective is Mr Osinbajo a professor of legislation and a former commissioner for justice, he’s arguably probably the most prominent leaders to have graced the Nigerian seat of energy up to now few many years.

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has emerged as one of the most heroes of the siege

For starters, not anything about him excites the standard comedy that Nigerians have come to be expecting from our leaders.

His tutorial qualifications are with out suspicion. His foot does no longer get jammed in his mouth every time he speaks. He has no identified girlfriends flaunting flashy vehicles and shady contracts across the capital town, Abuja. He has no identified cadavers stinking in his cabinet.

Mr Osinbajo has even been heard to apologise after arriving overdue at occasions. The everyday Nigerian public administrative center holder’s vainness can in most cases be measured by means of how lengthy they may be able to stay folks ready.

And the vice-president didn’t disappoint. Whilst the siege used to be ongoing, he launched a observation denouncing it as “condemnable and fully unacceptable”.

Then he introduced the quick dismissal of Mr Daura – and the masked males had been recalled to their lair.

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Once more, Nigerians cannot say evidently if Mr Daura used to be merely a scapegoat for a failed coup, or if he used to be certainly performing with out presidential authority, motivated by means of his loyalty to Mr Buhari, his kinsman from the village of Daura in Katsina state, north-western Nigeria.

However, I promised you a cheerful finishing, did not I?

Middle of the night arrests

Many Nigerians really feel that if it took the siege on parliament to be in the end rid of the undercover agent leader – then hurray.

In 2015, the sexagenarian used to be exhumed from retirement and appointed to go the DSS.

Previously 3 years of Mr Daura’s management, the company has been characterized by means of middle of the night arrests on the ones suspected of corruption, disdain for court docket orders, detention of a journalist with out trial, and the harassing of lawmakers at a federal and state degree.

Many Nigerians feared that as he got here from Mr Buhari’s place of birth it had made him untouchable.

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Mr Osinbajo described the siege as “condemnable and fully unacceptable”

We had resigned ourselves to the continuing nightmare.

However, because the announcing is going: he whom the gods need to smash, they first make mad.

The insanity that Mr Daura perceived to show by means of launching the siege has now resulted in his ignominious fall.

At the performing president’s orders, Mr Daura used to be arrested and even if launched a couple of days later, his passport used to be seized.

Mr Osinbajo described his antics as “a gross violation of constitutional order, rule of legislation and all permitted notions of legislation and order”. Mr Daura has but to place his facet of occasions.

However many Nigerians are actually hoping that he’ll have that chance in court docket. What an much more joyous finishing that may be – and person who follows the rule of thumb of legislation.

Extra Letters from Africa

Practice us on Twitter @BBCAfrica, on Fb at BBC Africa or on Instagram at bbcafrica

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