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EU flays blockage of National Assembly, wants security forces to be neutral

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Some National Assembly staff and journalists who were barred from entering complex due to a blockade of the main gate by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.

• Over 1000 APC members defect to PDP in Akwa Ibom State
• Writers’ body queries unprogressive defections across the country

The European Union delegation to Nigeria and West Africa has condemned the recent blockage of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Press Officer of the EU delegation in Nigeria, Modestus Chukwulaka, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

While reiterating its commitment to democracy in Nigeria, the union called on law enforcement agencies to always remain neutral in the polity.

It commended the Federal Government’s swift action by protecting the independence of the National Assembly as a critical pillar of democracy.

He said: ‘The EU Heads of Missions have noted with concern, the recent examples of interference in the democratic process by law enforcement services. The most recent case was the barring of access by lawmakers to the National Assembly on August 7.”

The body reiterated the importance of all law enforcement agencies in staying neutral by ensuring that independent institutions operate in line with their constitutional mandates.

The EU stressed that the upcoming general 2019 election was vital towards national stability, peace and prosperity for all Nigerians.

The union implored the Nigerian people to decide the outcome of the elections, by playing their part so that voters could elect leaders through free, fair, credible and peaceful election.

In a related development, over 1000 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.

This happened on the day that former governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, joined the APC in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district.

Welcoming the defectors, the state PDP chairman, Paul Ekpo, said the defections were a testimony that the PDP was a party to beat in 2019.

Ekpo urged the people to be guided that the PDP remains committed to development, as well as hatred for violence and intimidation.

While receiving local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councilors from 31 local council areas of the state, Governor Emmanuel said he was not perturbed by Akpabio’s defection to the APC.

Meanwhile, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has condemned the manner in which politicians are switching camps, disconnecting and connecting new political cables and raising new convertors to ignite the political space.

This was contained in a statement by its president, Denja Abdullahi and the Assistant General Secretary, Maik Ortserga.

The writers’ body said the panic sown by politicians in rationalising their conducts, yelling so loudly about biases meted out on them, has led many to wonder whether the leadership class in Nigeria will ever get it right.

The statement reads: “The bad news in all these is that these political inadequacies are stretching our democracy to a breaking point. It is sad that politics in this country is still not in the interest of the people several years after the country’s return to democracy.
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