“It has become apparent that our security agencies have now become willing tools in the hands of the ruling party to achieve selfish political gains via intimidation, coercion and trumped up charges against dissenters.
Consequently, our democracy has come under severe attacks.”
With the above, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Speakers’ Forum yesterday condemned the July 24, 2018 alleged barricade of the convoy of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the house arrest of his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, by suspected security operatives and other agents believed to be acting on behalf of the Federal Government.
It noted that the action was “yet another attempt by the executive arm to undermine the country’s hard earned democracy.”
The forum’s chairman and Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. John Gaul Lebo, in a statement in Calabar, said the act was “a flagrant abuse of the rule of law and the near total disregard for the legislature – the popular symbol of democracy.”
Describing the move as ‘shameless and malicious’ and an affront to the lawmakers and their independence, he stated: “It has become apparent that our security agencies have now become willing tools in the hands of the ruling party to achieve selfish political gains via intimidation, coercion and trumped-up charges against dissenters. Consequently, our democracy has come under severe attacks.”
Lebo continued: “After 19 years of the current democratic order, it is obvious that the first 16 years under the PDP government offered Nigerians the political environment to develop democratic values and culture. Regrettably, the last three years have seen a desperate imposition of ‘Rule by Law’ in place of ‘Rule of Law’.
“Albeit, the PDP has through the coalition tried to provide the holding environment desperately needed to nurture and regain the democratic mainstay required to restore the Rule of Law and usher Nigeria into a liberal democracy.”
However, the Senate President has clarified his non-appearance at Guzape Police Station, Abuja as demanded by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, stating that he had responded to all the questions raised in the invitation letter sent on Monday.
Saraki said his response to the second summons was duly acknowledged.
Speaking through his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, the former Kwara State governor noted that all the issues raised in the summons were answered and dispatched to the force on Tuesday.
The senate president pointed out that having responded to all the queries, he did not believe that there was any need for him to further appear before the police personally.
The IGP had invited Saraki to appear before the Police Special Anti-Robbery Unit in Guzape to answer questions over his alleged involvement in the well-publicised Offa robbery.
In his response, he had termed the summons “a mere afterthought which is designed to achieve a political purpose.”
The number three citizen stated that he had it on good authority that the force had already decided on the suspects to arraign in court in Ilorin, Kwara State yesterday on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mohammed U.E., adding that his invitation was a ploy to score cheap political points.