Security was on Tuesday tightened in and around the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, with heavily armed security personnel and sniffer dogs deployed in the premises.
Our correspondent reports that staff of the assembly and visitors were subjected to rigorous security check at various entrances to the complex.
It was believed that the development was not unconnected to the riotous situation in the nation’s capital on Monday by Shiite faithful, demanding the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, detained since 2015.
The protest, which turned chaotic and disrupted activities in parts of the city for several hours, was quelled when the police, who arrested many suspects in connection with the incident, applied heavy dose of teargas and water.
Reacting to the security beef at the national assembly, Sen. Ben Uwajumogu (APC-Imo), told our correspondent that it could be linked to the upheaval in parts of Abuja on Monday.
He said that in view of the sensitive nature of the assembly, it was important to beef up security to protect the lives of thousands of Nigerians in the premises.
“Yesterday, there was some kind of riot caused by the Shiite members. So, for me, it is a good response; it is always good to be pre-emptive.
“Anytime you have such security beef-up, it means that there was a decision by the leadership of the national assembly to curtail the movement of people to ensure better security.
“There have been threats here and there and security is an all-time thing.
“So, once in a while, we will have to keep upgrading the security levels according to the threat.
“I am sure there must be some kind of intelligence received that is prompting them to do that. Also, in our executive sessions, the issue of security has been raised several times,’’ he said.
The lawmaker added that the national assembly “is a sensitive establishment and there is every need to ensure that security is guaranteed for those who work here as senators, aides, staff and those who come for legal businesses.
“They must have done this to pre-empt that kind of situation. So, I believe that the decision of the leadership to beef up security is the outcome of what is happening now.’’
Similarly, a police officer, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the beef-up was to forestall break down of law and order in view of the Monday disturbance.