Video: How Much Were People Paid To Protest Against NASS Yesterday?
By Adenike Lucas
A handful of people lead a protest to the National Assembly today, but, this paper has it on video that the group who led the march were paid agents.
Aside to not knowing what they were there for, two protesters confirmed that they were promised between N1,000 – N1,500 for organising mayhem at the legislative quarters.
In the recording obtained by this newspaper, the demonstrators are seen standing behind the backdrop of a vehicle that has the banner supporting President Muhammadu Buhari.
Others can be seen on the roadside waiting to be paid and conveyed back to their various destinations.
A demonstrator called Aliyu could not give any response when asked why he was partaking in the rally against lawmakers.
Samson and Kingsley on their own part said organisers “just called them to come down here and they said they would give us like N1,500 – N1K.”
While the executive has been criticised for the way it has handled the killings of innocent people in Nigeria by herdsmen, the legislative has been vocal and made several demands from President Muhammadu Buhari.
This has often pitted the two arms against one another.
Isah Misau, a lawmaker who represents Bauchi Central noticed the link the protests has with the President.
He said: “This demonstration you are seeing outside is organised by a serving minister. It is a product of a sitting government.
“A lot of money was to be used on the national assembly to declare that seat vacant.
“These same people looking for the seat of Mr President are now the good boys around the president. The people that want to bring you down.”
The Senate President Bukola Saraki also spoke about the issue that led to the fake protest.
While speaking at the Chamber, Senator Saraki said: “It is important that we continue to educate the public on the importance of these Constituency Projects and also to correct any misinformation that these constituency projects funds are coming into the hands of lawmakers.
“These are only projects that are facilitated by lawmakers to ensure that there is a federal project in every part of the country. Before now, there have been no other measures to ensure that there is an equitable distribution of projects in the country. Therefore, constituency projects are aimed at ensuring unity, equity and justice because for as long as you have any constituency where you cannot find federal projects, then there is injustice and corruption in the country.”
He explained that “it is very important that those that are showing rascality and irresponsibility should be called to order, because they are just taking advantage of these young boys.
“Today, you call them to come and protest against constituency projects. The day that somebody pays them to come and protest against this same democracy could happen.
“If people have scores to settle, they should find other ways. Not using youth who are unemployed to fight against causes that do not make any sense.
“If there is something wrong with the implementation of constituency projects, it is the executive. They award the contracts. They release the money. So, if there is a problem, they should go and protest at the ministries. We do not award the contracts and we surely do not release the money for the contracts.
“Those who are behind these kinds of protests should desist. We know who you are. This does not help the country in any way.”
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