The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has asked Nigerians to stop blaming lawmakers for the non-rehabilitation of the National Assembly which led to its leaking roof following a downpour on Tuesday.
Many Nigerians had taken to the social media immediately after the report of the leak hit the media on Tuesday.
Lawan who spoke at plenary while ruling on a point of order raised on the matter by Senator Sabi Abdullahi, on Wednesday, noted that those blaming the lawmakers were doing so ignorantly.
He explained that the Federal Capital Development Authority was in charge of the maintenance of the structures in the National Assembly premises and added that the leadership of the National Assembly, sometime in 2019, met with the President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to rehabilitate the federal parliament.
He also said the President had approved N37bn for the rehabilitation of the edifice but that the FCDA was given the responsibility of doing so.
Lawan said, “The fact that there was a leakage to me, is a clear testimony, confirmation and vindication of the position the national assembly took initially.
“Everyone knows that this place is overdue for rehabilitation. We went to see Mr President and he was gracious and he asked us to meet with FCTA, the owners of the building.
“Myself, the speaker, the late chief of staff and Minister of Finance met to look for money for the rehabilitation of the national assembly. When the N37 billion was approved it was not a national assembly budget, it was an FCDA budget.
“If this place leaks, we are not holding our democracy with the respect it has. We expect the press to inform the people responsibly
“This house is the house of Nigerians. It belongs to Nigerians and it deserves to be rehabilitated.”
Deputy Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, had earlier said there was no leakage in the chamber but around the premises.
He said, “It was reported that because of that leakage, it delayed our sitting. That also was not correct. The leadership had housekeeping matters and until the leadership enters the chamber, sitting would not begin.
“Thirdly and the most critical, was that the leadership approved N37 billion for the rehabilitation. This is nothing further from the truth.”
The leak also spread to the Press Centre in the Senate wing of the nation’s apex legislative institution and also disturbed staff of the private firms especially banks located on the ground floor of the complex.