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Wike, Tambuwal, Tanimu-Turaki bemoan NASS siege

Wike, Tambuwal, Tanimu-Turaki bemoan NASS siege

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…say Nigeria’s democracy under threat

Olufemi Atoyebi and  Chukwudi Akasike

The RIVERS State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; his Sokoto State counterparts, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal;  and a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, Kabiru Tanimu-Turaki, among others, have condemned Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly by officers of the Department of State Services.

Wike declared that the nation’s democracy was under threat as a result of the military-terrorist style of the current administration.

He said, “I have said it before and I will continue to say it. There is a threat to democracy. When they started with the judiciary, I raised the alarm that this thing would happen to all the arms of government. Now, it has spread to the legislative arm.

“If well-meaning Nigerians don’t speak up, our democracy will be truncated.  Just one week ago, they laid siege to and locked the Benue State House of Assembly. To the chagrin of all Nigerians, they invaded the beacon of democracy at the federal level,” the governor added.

He stated that the APC-led Federal Government believed in intimidation and coercion of opponents, rather than follow the principles of democracy.

The governor said, “I thought that politics is diplomacy and lobbying. Not this military terrorist style to go and invade an institution like the National Assembly.

“And you think that people will continue to leave you to have your way.  It is no longer possible. People are tired of garrison democracy. They are tired of the APC Federal Government using the EFCC to intimidate people.”

He pointed out that no right-thinking Nigerian would kick against the reconvening of the National Assembly.

The governor, however, stated that due process must be followed to reconvene the National Assembly.

“Nobody is talking about the fact that the President has yet to sign the Electoral Act. If the budget is important, what about the Electoral Act,” he queried.

The governor said that the APC Federal Government was taking undue advantage of national divisions, adding that Nigerians disappointed them by resisting impunity.

“I congratulate members of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives for providing leadership.

“I encourage them to remain resolute because more difficult times will come. They have to save Nigerian democracy,” he said.

Tambuwal, who condemned in strong terms Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly complex, applauded the immediate removal from office of Daura.

He said that as a former lawmaker and immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, he was confounded that anyone could contemplate and carry out such an act, and commended the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo for his intervention.

He also called on the international community to rise in condemnation of the action, which he described as a very dangerous threat to the survival of democracy in Africa’s most populous nation.

He said, “It is wrong and unconscionable for security operatives of any 21st Century nation to act in ways suggesting that democracy and the will of the people could be held to ransom.”

“Every Nigerian must rise and stand up to defend democracy now or suffer the consequences of a police state,” the governor added.

Similarly, Tanimu-Turaki called for a thorough investigation and prosecution of the Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, and those involved in the action.

The former Minister of Special Duties spoke in Ibadan during a meeting with delegates of the party in Oyo State.

He noted that the sacking of Daura was not enough to erase records of undemocratic movements happening under the present government, which he said were dangerous for democracy in the country.

“Today is one of the saddest days for democracy in Nigeria. We have seen a lot of anti-democratic activities and movements happening since this government realised that Nigerians have resolved to vote it out in 2019. We have seen what happened in Benue State and other places. Never in our wildest imagination have we ever imagined that the symbol of democracy in Nigeria, which is the National Assembly, could be placed under siege in the way and manner it was done today (Tuesday).

“In any government, you have the executive and the judiciary. The existence or non-existence of the National Assembly will determine if truly we have democracy in place.

“We want to see this government act in a responsible manner that will see those involved arrested, investigated, arraigned before a court of law and dealt with appropriately. Only this will avenge the incursion and assault on our constitution that had taken place and not a cosmetic act.”

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