Soldiers yesterday in Kaduna briefly detained the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, insisting his official car must be searched before he could be allowed into an international conference where he was due to deliver a speech.
Angered by the conduct of the soldiers, the Speaker came out of the car and trekked into the venue.
The incident occurred at Hotel 17, venue of an International conference on security and development challenges of pastoralism in West and central Africa organized by the office of the National Security Adviser.
The Speaker, who arrived the venue of the gathering at exactly 9.16 am for the 10.00 am opening ceremony, had his convoy stopped by soldiers who insisted they must search his official car before he could be allowed into the venue.
Despite much entreaties by security details attached to the Speaker,the soldiers refused, claiming they have “orders from above” to search the Speaker.
Incidentally, other VIPs, especially Governors, who attended the conference were allowed access into the hotel without hindrance
The Speaker is the number four citizen in Nigeria’s official hierarchy after the President, Vice-President and the Senate President.
When contacted for his reaction, Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, decried the conduct of the soldiers, saying their attitude undermines the institution of the legislature.
“It is not about the person of the Speaker, but the office he is occupying. What we expect is for the security agents to show respect for the office of the Number 4 citizen of the country, ” he said.
The soldiers did not search the speakers car after he walked into the venue.