It took the police to stop blows and chairs from flying.
Members of host communities from the Niger Delta exchanged blows and dragged themselves by the garment and hair, during a public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
It all began when one of the Itsekiri leaders got up to speak. He was immediately shouted down by other members of host communities. A free-for-all and kerfuffle ensued and all hell was let loose as lawmakers scampered for safety.
The fight played out on January 28, 2021, when representatives of host communities from the Niger Delta were summoned to the podium to make presentations in one of the chambers of the lower house within the national assembly complex.
It took the police to restore calm. Proceedings continued soon after but tempers were yet to cool at the time of filing this.
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is a piece of legislation that seeks to hand a chunk of the proceeds of crude oil to host communities where the oil is drilled.
The bill also aims to institutionalise and ensure ease of doing business in the sector; and help Nigeria maximise the benefits from oil and gas.
The bill has gathered dust for all of 12 years in parliament, and is often deliberated upon by successive legislators, with very little to show in terms of progress.