Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Following the National Assembly management’s directive to senators and House of Representatives’ members, who failed to secure their return tickets to the Eighth Assembly to quit their offices, legislators have begun to comply with the order. The UNION reports that some federal lawmakers, who fall into the above category, were spotted moving their personal belongings out of their various offices at the National Assembly Complex in compliance with the management’s directive. It would be recalled that a ‘procedural’ directive had been issued by the management of the National Assembly to the lawmakers to urgently remove their personal belongings.
This, the management said, is to prepare the vacated offices for reallocation in the weeks ahead. Several utility vehicles, most of which were said to belong to the vacating lawmakers, were seen yesterday packing away refrigerators, television sets, tables, chairs, rugs, books, pictures, computers and other electronic items from various offices. Aides of the legislators were also seen directing contract staff working as cleaners in the Complex to pack their principals’ belongings to the utility vehicles that were packed in front of the new Senate and House of Representatives’ wings. The UNION reports that a total of 377, out of the 469 legislators, failed in their bids to secure their return tickets from the current Seventh Assembly to the Eighth Assembly.
The UNION further reports that 301 of them came from the House, while the remaining 76 came from the Senate. Information made available to The UNION revealed that most of the legislators, who lost their bids to return to the federal parliament, had been removing their personal belongings secretly, soon after the elections. Some National Assembly staff members were also seen with souvenirs given to them by the lawmakers, while the cleaners had a busy day, conveying loads of unwanted items to dump sites. A female lawmaker had early last week, reportedly, broke down in tears when she sighted her belongings, especially portraits removed from her office by her aides, packed in front of the Complex, awaiting evacuation.
The lawmaker, according to investigation, had out of anger that she lost election, ordered her aides to pack out her personal items from the office. But when her orders were being obeyed, she burst into tears the very moment she sighted her portraits packed outside the lobby. One of the senators, who is contesting the Senate presidency had also earlier asked his aides to remove his belongings from the office. According to his aides, another office would be allocated to him, after the inauguration of the Eighth Senate. An aide to one of the senators, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that his boss instructed them to remove his belongings from the office. He said that his boss had started preparing his personal office where he will retire to after the end of the Seventh Senate by June 4. It was not clear, however, whether all the items that were being removed actually belonged to the senators and representatives, or simply being looted by their legislative aides as their bosses were not around on Monday to supervise the packing.