Nigerians Condemn Siege On Saraki, Ekweremadu …Buhari Turning Nigeria To Fascist State -PDP …Democracy Under Serious Threats -Ekweremadu

R-L: Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, former Military Administrator, Rivers State, Brig General Anthony Ukpo (rtd), former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia , Mrs Ifeoma Okocha, former NBA President, Chief OCJ Okocha, Chief Moses Wifa and Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani and other personalities, during the celebration of 40years of Legal Practice of Chief Okocha by Okpo Club of Nigeria (Association of Ikwerre Lawyers Worldwide) and the inaugural Okpo Club Awards ceremony in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has described the sustained rancorous relationship between the legislative arm of government and the executive as a threat to democracy.
In a statement signed by its National Chairman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and the Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, yesterday, CNPP urged “all Nigerian security agencies to stop meddling in the political affairs of the country and allow democratic forces to freely operate like in every other democracy.”
It said, “The barricade of the residence of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and that of the Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu is the culmination ofthe altercation between the executive and the legislative arms of government in the country”.
The body of registered political parties and association stated this while reacting to the security barricade of the residential houses of both Saraki and Ekweremadu in Abuja, yesterday morning.
The CNPP said, “Following truncated impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari at the Senate, the constant intimidation of lawmakers by the agents of the executive is the culmination of the ongoing distrust between the two arms of government.
“No democracy will survive in an atmosphere of unbridled interference by the executive in the affairs of the legislative chambers, using the coercive forces at its disposal to muzzle dissenting voices and distort free flow of democratic forces and freedom to associate.
“The Constitution of Nigeria, which both the executive and legislative members swore to uphold guarantees freedom of association and right to hold opinion and it will be detrimental to the deepening of our democracy for security agencies to deny any Nigerian these rights, rather all security forces are to ensure that these rights are respected”, the CNPP stated.
In a swift reaction, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar condemned the alleged siege in the Abuja residences of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu by men of the Nigerian Police Force, yesterday.
Secondus, who accused President Muhammadu Buhari of using state security as attack dogs of his government, said there was a plot to remove the current leadership ofthe Senate by force, warning that such move may cripple the nation’s democracy.
Warning the Commander-in-Chief on the consequence of endangering the nation’s democracy, Secondus further noted that nothing has been done in the past three years of President Buhari’s administration to deepen the democratic process.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by President Muhammadu Buhari using state security apparatus of the Department of State Service (DSS), Army and the Nigerian Police have attacked the National Assembly with the aim of forcibly overthrowing the National Assembly leadership and rendering the third arm of government comatose.
It is now a known fact that democracy has collapsed in Nigeria and we are now under a totalitarian and fascist government with no appetite for opposition.
“President Buhari is a beneficiary of democratic election into power and since he took over on May 29, 2015, he has done nothing but destroy every fabric of democracy and the rule of law.
“We call on all Nigerians home and abroad to immediately speak up against this act of gross violation of the Constitution of Nigerian and the attempted disruption of the democratic process and institutions by President Buhari and privatized members of the Nigerian security agencies,Secondus said in a statement made available to journalists, yesterday.
Also reacting, Atiku expressed worry over the alleged siege on Saraki and Ekweremadu’s homes, saying democracy must not be ambushed by those who ought to nurture it by virtue of the position they hold.
He said: I remind the powers that be that on August 31,2013, when Senator Bukola Saraki walked out of the PDP and began the process of joining the APC, there was celebration in their camps.
I also remind them that their electoral victory, which they have so badly mismanaged today, would not have been possible without the Senate President.
“Power is transient and is also a trust that should only be used for the good and advancement of the people one leads and not for the persecution of real and imagined political opponents.
“I remind President Muhammadu Buhari of his public words of solidarity to Senator Saraki after his ordeal of malicious prosecution, which thankfully was brought to a halt by the Supreme Court, and I urge him to live up to those words today and always”.
Similarly, former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, criticized the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris over the invasion of Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s residence.
Ezekwesili, reacting to the development called on IGP Idris to retrace his steps, follow processes and respect that the country is running a system of democracy.
The former minister on her Twitter page wrote: “What exactly are the officers of the IG of Police, Ibrahim Idris doing with such brazen low-quality policing tactics?
“Please, let the IGP know immediately that this is a democracy. There are laid down processes that must be followed at all times for everyone.”
In the same vein, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose condemned the incident, stating that he warned Nigerians of impending tyranny in the country.
The governor on his Twitter page wrote, “Now the tyranny is reaching everyone. I warned Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has urged security operatives on siege to Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu’s residence, to vacate the place and allow him to enjoy his constitutional right.
He said that the siege was a violation of the right of Ekweremadu, explaining that “this morning I left Enugu for Abuja to attend today’s sitting.
“Half way to the airport, I heard a distress call from the aides working with the Deputy Senate President that his residence and the entire street had been cordoned off and nobody can move out of the house.
“As I am talking now, the people of Enugu State resident in Abuja have moved to his house and they are there shouting in the rain for his release.
“What offence has he committed that would warrant his wife and children to be denied freedom to go about their duties.
“Some people told me that they heard some people want to defect today and because of that they don’t want him to come to the sitting.
“I also heard that they don’t want the senate president to come so that both presiding officers will not be here but thank God that the Senate President is in this place,” he said.
Supporting the motion, Sen. Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) said the development was a threat to democracy.
He said, “I was with Ekweremadu, yesterday (Monday), and there was no notice from the police. I wonder why his house is under siege today (Tuesday).
“There will be tomorrow. No matter the intimidation my confidence in you and Ekweremadu is renewed and we must protect this institution,” he told Saraki.
Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba) said it was not only a threat to democracy but to the unity of the country.
“It is with a heavy heart I rise to contribute to this. This is not only threatening, but the unity of the country and we need to thread with caution. What is happening has never happened.
“When I heard of the siege I became afraid. We need prayers and we have to stand up as statesmen.
“I advise that security operatives should know they are meant to protect us and no country has used violence to settle matters.
“We can pack our things and go and those trying to dent the image of the president should be careful,” he said.
In his reaction, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said there was also a siege to his house at the early hours, yesterday.
He said he was meant to report to the Police on account of invitation to answer to alleged involvement in a robbery case in Offa some months ago but could not do that.
Saraki said there would not have been plenary if he had gone to the Police, given the fact that Ekweremadu was prevented from leaving his house.
“Ekweremadu cannot come out for no fault of his, and by the plan, I wouldn’t have been here as well.
“The deputy senate president called me that he was blocked from coming out. Even my convoy was blocked,” he said.
The Senate has adjourned plenary for members’ annual vacation. They will resume on September 26.
Following yesterday’s political scenario in Abuja, few Nigerians took to the street to protest the illegal invasion of police officers to the residence of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his deputy Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, respectively.
Recall that at the early hours of 7: am, the Nigeria police that invited Saraki to appear before it by 8: am laid siege in his Abuja house.
Police equally stormed the residence of Ekweremadu, his deputy, barricading both from movement.
Reason for this illegal invasion is yet to be revealed, but there are speculations that it was planned to stop the duo from presiding over yesterday’s plenary because ofthe defection of 15 senators that dumped All Progressives Congress (APC) and accepted the membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Saraki, who made his way to the Senate and took charge of yesterday’s plenary, condemned in its totality, the police invasion to his house.
His Deputy, Ekweremadu also condemned the invasion, and opined that there was no prior invitation by any of the security agencies or the EFCC to him.
The Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo equally surrendered his statement via his Facebook handle as he strongly condemned the invasion, and called it ‘tyranny’,
His words, “I condemn, in its entirety, the.siege on the houses of the principal officers of the National Assembly by officers and men of the Nigerian Police. The National Assembly as an arm of the government must be accorded the due respect that it deserves. This is tyranny!”.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has said that the nation’s democracy is under threat if nothing was done to avert the intimidation and harassment of opposition politicians by the government in power.
He spoke, yesterday afternoon when asked by journalists to speak on the security siege on his residence.
Expressing disappointment over the development, he wondered how the culture of democracy has still yet to be imbibed since 1999, stating that the country cannot grow when the government in power abhors opposition.
“The development we are seeing now is an attack on democracy and I keep wondering at how a ruling party would not tolerate opposition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Leader of the PDP Caucus in the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio said he was humbled by yesterday’s emergence of the PDP as the majority party in the Senate.
Those at the Deputy Senate President’s residence include: PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyon, former National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh.