Scores of pro-democracy activists on Wednesday marched to the National Assembly in Abuja to demand the sacking of the Minister of Defence, Bello Matawalle.
The protesters at the complex chanted solidarity songs and displayed banners with different inscriptions such as ‘Sack Bello Matawalle now,’ and ‘Our defence budget not in safe hands,’ among others.
Among other things, the activists under the aegis of the Civil Society Advocacy Groups for Accountability and Probity also accused the minister of allegedly “romancing bandits.” responsible for the loss of lives and property worth billions of naira in the northern part of the country.
Addressing newsmen in front of the National Assembly, leader of the group, Danesi Momoh, called on the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, to exert pressure on the President to ensure Matawalle is relieved of his job.
“A Defence portfolio to an inefficient leader was perhaps one of the biggest mistakes of this administration. But it can be corrected with the Senate giving a voice in that direction,” he said.
He added, “We call on the Senate to weigh in to ensure that he is immediately removed to restore some hope in good governance.
“Let us also assure you that we know how limited your role could be, but it is very important that in the national interest you play that role. We shall also be mounting pressure on President Bola Tinubu whose table the buck stops directly to replace him. All the Senate needs is to play its part. The Senate should help in easing him off the public office space.”
Reacting to the protest, the Director, Sergeant at Arms, National Assembly, Salihu Abdullahi, who received the petition on behalf of Akpabio, expressed satisfaction with the peaceful and orderly conduct of the protesters, adding that he will convey their grievances to the appropriate quarters.