A group of intruders stormed into the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, leaving the legislators stunned after they had taken off with their apparent price: a ceremonial mace.
Just a day later, police announced that they had found the maces under an overpass in Abuja. a statement stating that their searches had "forced the alleged villains to leave the club at a point under the overpass outside the city gate, where a patriotic passer-by saw them and alerted the police."
The investigation is still open, and the perpetrators are still at large, police said online Premium Times newspaper.
The club is a symbol of the Legislature's authority and is usually on the table in front of the Senate President; without this being possible, no decisions can be made.
Although maces are used all over the world in similar symbolic abilities, in Nigeria it is a particularly effective symbol of governance: Outside the National Assembly, the Nigerian legislature that houses the Senate, is a huge statue of a raised fist with a golden club ,
Nigerian lawmakers had outraged Wednesday about the theft of the club. "This action is an act of betrayal, as it is an attempt to forcefully overthrow a branch of the federal government of Nigeria, and it must be treated as such," said the chairman of the Senate for Media and Public Relations, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, in one Statement [1
The Nigerian media report that the Senator was in spite of his suspension with the Club Thief, as she entered the National Assembly.
Videos from the scene show a number of men pushing security forces in the building. In some videos, men are apparently injured lying on the ground to see. In his statement, Senator Sabi Abdullahi said some security forces in the National Assembly had been injured during the raid, which only lasted a few minutes.
Politically motivated thefts have a long history in Nigeria. In a column for the Vanguard newspaper, Mike Ebonugwo wrote that "in the frequent power and leadership succession battles over the years, the control of the legislative arm was usually paramount."
Ebonugwo wrote that in 1965 a senator was summoned to it he seized the cudgel which he used like a weapon to attack the speaker and other parliamentarians. "
In the incident this week, however, the disruption was only temporary: the Senate had a ceremonial fragile club, which was used only 15 minutes after the intruders left to resume negotiations, according to the National Assembly Afternoon six bills to pass a second reading.
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