A group of pro-democracy activists on Wednesday, swarmed the National Assembly in Abuja, pressing for the immediate removal of Defence Minister, Bello Matawalle.
The protesters echoed their demands with chants of solidarity as they thronged the National Assembly complex. They held up banners bearing various messages, including ‘Sack Bello Matawalle now’ and ‘Our defence budget is in jeopardy,’ among others.
The activists, representing the Civil Society Advocacy Groups for Accountability and Probity, accused the minister of allegedly having questionable connections with bandits, which they believe have contributed to the loss of lives and property worth billions of naira in the northern region of the country.
Speaking before the media in front of the National Assembly, the group’s leader, Danesi Momoh, called upon Senate President Godswill Akpabio to use his influence to ensure Matawalle’s dismissal.
Momoh stated, “Assigning the Defense portfolio to an ineffective leader was perhaps one of the major errors of this administration. However, the Senate can rectify it by voicing their concerns in that direction.”
He further emphasized, “We implore the Senate to intervene and ensure his immediate removal to restore confidence in good governance. We acknowledge the limitations of your role, but it is crucial that you play your part in the national interest. We will also exert pressure on President Bola Tinubu, who bears direct responsibility for this matter. The Senate’s role is vital, and they should assist in facilitating his departure from public office.”
In response to the protest, Salihu Abdullahi, the Sergeant at Arms for the National Assembly, who received the demonstrators’ petition on behalf of Akpabio, commended the peaceful and orderly conduct of the protest and assured them that he would convey their grievances to the appropriate authorities.