Some lawmakers in the Third Republic, numbering over 18, on Wednesday besieged the National Assembly, demanding the payment of their entitlements and salaries, which they called their lifetime entitlement.
Basil Okafor, who led the delegation to the House of Representatives, said they had not been paid since 1992.
This, Okafor said, was sequel to the aborted Third Republic by the military junta, led by the late General Sani Abacha.
According to him: “We were elected in the clearest and cleanest election in the history of this country.
“That was Option A4.”
He said at that time there was no rigging, adding that anybody who came to the House came with the support and backing of his people.
Okafor added: “Unfortunately, as it was the trend at that time, the military overthrew the government, and we were all sent packing.
“However, we did not relent because we were so united.
“Although they have asked us to go, we are still alive.
“We stand to fight, not only for our own cause, but also for the cause of the ascension.”
Okafor said Rep. Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayeisa), one of their members, is one of the oldest serving members in the House of Representatives.
He said: “It is interesting to note that in each legislative session since after our election, from 1999 till date, our members have been represented and elected by their people to come back here.
“Agbedi is one of those members, whose people are so much in love with because of his activities back home.
“We have problems with our claims and salaries that were not paid at that time.
“We have problems that we are seeking the face of this government to see how they can help us resolve.
“And we know that having Fred there, he would be able to help us coordinate his fellow members to champion this cause and highlight some of these problems that are facing us.”
Hajiya Amina, a member of the Third Republic, said many of them had died, adding: “When we came here, we were 593, but over 250 have gone, and most of the women are dead.
“This is 31 years since we were sworn in as members of this parliament.
“Our grandchildren can vote and be voted for.
“But we still have a problem, which is one of our claims.”
Responding, Agbedi called on the National Assembly to do the needful by giving them their claim.
He said: “They have kept crying out that there are entitlements and benefits that were cut short because of the military intervention.
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“Of course, the National Assembly should take the lead in ensuring that what is right is done for the people.
“I also want to use this opportunity to call on President Bola Tinubu, who was part of the assembly at the time, to ensure that all their entitlements in that Republic are given to them.”