REPORT: 6 viral moments in 6 months of the 10th NASS

Beloved JohnDecember 29, 202317 min

The National Assembly (NASS) has clinched headlines for many reasons throughout the year. In some cases, they triggered public outrage, and healthy debates in others. From the election of the National Assembly presiding officers to the purchase of luxurious SUVs cars for lawmakers, here are 6 viral moments created by the federal legislature in the second half of 2023

6 viral moments

The National Assembly, for many reasons, was eventful throughout 2023. It clinched headlines and generated varying reactions from citizens for some of its decisions and policy making. Both chambers of the 10th assembly – the Senate and House of Representatives – passed motions, bills, and initiated other legislaltive policies that elicited different reactions, especially on social media. Some were definitely viral moments. 

Here are 6 of such incidents presented in no particular order: 

  • N70 billion palliatives for lawmakers 

In August, the National Assembly passed N70 billion from the N819.5 billion 2022 supplementary budget to support the working conditions of lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate. This triggered many angry reactions from Nigerians, who were displeased because the palliative, compared to the proposed N8,000 for 12 million poor households for six months, was significantly high. Reacting to the public criticism, the Senate committee on media and public affairs through its chairman, Sen. Yemi Adaramodu, explained thus: “Passage of the Supplementary Appropriation Act was part of the constitutional duties of the Senate to accommodate funding for the Federal Government’s palliative for the Nigerian public, among other national demands.”

Protesters at NLC march push down NASS gate

In the same month, protesters, mostly members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), who protesting the hardship caused by President Bola Tinubu’s decision to end the subsidy on petrol, pulled the gate to the National Assembly complex. The protesters had stormed the National Assembly, and forced their way into the complex after finding that the gates were locked by security officials. The protesters forced their way into the complex by pulling down the gate while chanting solidarity songs. This incident swept through the different social media platforms, and clinched headlines hours after. 

NASS presiding officers’election


The election of presiding officers of the 10th assembly was a major subject of discussion alongside the inauguration of the elected lawmakers. In the February election, eight political parties produced lawmakers, with the APC producing the highest number –  57 seats in the Senate, and 167 in the House of Representatives. The election and selection of the leadership of both the House of Representatives and the Senate was another widely anticipated and talked about event. The subject trended on social media for days, with many predicting and judging the outcome.

At the Senate, Godwill Akpabio won the election with 63 votes, defeating his closest rival, Abfulaziz Yari, who got 46 votes. At the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, who was the preferred candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), polled 353 votes, beating his rival and former Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase and Aminu Jaji.

Luxury SUV for NASS members 

In October, the House of Representatives confirmed reports that the National Assembly was set to purchase luxury SUVs for lawmakers, intensifying a swirling outrage against the assembly. Public perception was triggered by the fact that the assembly was set to splurge billions on vehicles for its members at a time when millions of Nigerians are struggling with the cost of living crisis caused by abolishing fuel subsidies and the unification of naira exchange rates. Defending the decision, the senate cited the durability and ability of the SUVs to withstand the poor road conditions in Nigeria as the reason for their choice. Chairman, Senate services committee, Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi West), downplayed public outcry over the SUV purchase. He expressed disappointment in the social media frenzy and explained that the Senate took cognizance of a lot of factors, including cost effectiveness, durability and the poor state of most Nigerian roads, before settling for the SUVs. “If I go to my senatorial district, I come back spending a lot on my vehicles because our roads are bad,” he said.

‘Prayers to your mailbox’

A major controversy that engulfed the Senate in 2023 was a statement by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, which raised more outrage against the National Assembly. He told senators that the Clerk of the National Assembly would send some money into their various bank accounts to enable them to enjoy their holiday. Shortly after, he was alerted by some of his colleagues that the plenary session was live on television. Akpabio then rephrased. But then matters got worse when he said prayers had been sent their mailboxes “to assist you to go on a safe journey and return.”

LGBTQ and the ban on queen primer 

In October, the House of Representatives made a resolution to ban Queen Primer, a learning material used to introduce children to the Alphabets, alongside other books considered to be promoting homosexuality from all schools across the country. The lawmakers also requested a ban the importation and local production of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) materials in federal, state and local governments. This decision generated mixed reactions from people on social media with the majority applauding the move. Some others pointed out that the term “gay” in the Queen Primer, which the lawmakers suspect to promote the LGBT, connotes a different meaning. “Let’s be gay” in the context used in the book means to be lighthearted, cheerful and carefree.

Beloved John

One comment

  • Olabode Afurewaju

    December 31, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    Interesting piece 👍


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