The Senate wing of the National Assembly was in frenzy on Monday, January 29, 2018, following an “elevator fight” between Ekiti lawmaker, Senator Abiodun Olujimi and a legislative staff.
Despite being a plenary-free day, today happened to be a very busy day at the National Assembly.
This was because the Senate committee on petroleum (downstream) had fixed it’s investigative hearing on petrol scarcity almost at the same time with the meeting of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).
The PASAN members were meeting ahead of a planned strike.
The elevator fight
Elevators at the National Assembly are installed in pairs with bold inscription on the them. While one is expected to aid the mobility of lawmakers up and down the building, the other is reserved for ‘ordinary’ Nigerians.
Trouble started when Senator Olujimi, who was on her way to the subsidy hearing, sighted the PASAN member in the elevator reserved for lawmakers.
Senator Abiodun Olujimi was alleged to have asked her aide to slap the National Assembly staff, but the staff slapped her in return.
However, there are no strict adherence to this rule.
When both elevators are free – no lawmaker or operators – ‘ordinary’ citizens would use both machines.
This was the case of the PASAN member.
Luck, however, ran out of the PASAN member as Senator Olujimi caught him in the act.
The Ekiti lawmaker had questioned his decision to use the elevator reserved for lawmakers.
An argument broke out and Senator Olujimi “asked her aide to slap the PASAN member”, a source told Pulse.
The PASAN member staff retaliated by “slapping Senator Olujimi” and not her aide, the source added.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in a discussion with Senator Abiodun Olujimi
This sparked mixed reactions with argument largely against the lawmaker.
While some PASAN members had threatened to attack the lawmaker, others resolved to start using both elevators, Pulse learnt.
Videos and pictures of the event were highly prohibited by the security officers.
Both the lawmaker and the PASAN member were unavailable for comments on the squabble.
But speaking to journalists at the after the hearing, Senator Olujimi categorically said she would take up the matter with the Police.
Buhari not in charge
Senator Olujimi who is the deputy minority whip had accused President Muhammadu Buhari of losing grip over his government.
Olujimi, accused a certain ‘cabal’ of running the Buhari administration.
She urged President Buhari to call “his boys” to order.