The Federal Government on Saturday ordered the withdrawal of all diplomatic passports of National Assembly (NASS) members, including that of Senate President David Mark and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.
No reason was given for the action, but sources said it was not unconnected with the level of opposition the Presidency is currently facing among the National Assembly members which got to feverish peak last week.
The implication of the Federal Government’s action is that all 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives would no longer enjoy the special travel privileges the blue-coloured passport confers on its holder when they travel abroad.
The withdrawal of the diplomatic passports of the senators and members of the House of Representatives is coming barely 24 hours after the Presidency sacked Senator Joy Emordi as its Special Adviser on National Assembly matters.
Sources in a position to know the power play in Aso Rock told Sunday Independent that even though it was the crisis in the ruling party that necessitated the action, members of the opposition party in the Assembly are also being affected.
With the loss of their diplomatic passports, the NASS members no longer have immunity against arrest any time they travel abroad, a script, we gathered last night from our sources, was the motive for the action.
Source: Daily Independent