Lagos Assembly alleges plans to scuttle democracy
THE Lagos State House of Assembly Wednesday raised alarm on alleged plans by the Federal Government to scuttle this current democratic and prevent transition on May 29.
Citing political developments in the last couple of days, the legislative arm of government said the FG had taken several steps against constitutional provisions, which Nigerians must not take with levity.
The House, which had been on indefinite recess for several weeks now, was apparently jolted to life by Saturday’s postponement of elections and deployment of military men to the Ikoyi resident of their national leader, Bola Tinubu.
Spokesperson for the House, Segun Olulade, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) 40-man House condemned the heavy deployment of the Army to Tinubu’s residence, allegedly by the Federal Government under the watch of President Goodluck Jonathan as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
According to Olulade, the House viewed the presence of “fierce looking Army” to private residence as violation of fundamental human rights and dangerous to democratic setting.
The lawmaker, representing Epe Constituency II, noted that the indiscriminate use of the security forces by the present administration has now called for global attention to developments in the country.
He then called on the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, review the gross abuse of power by the President particularly relating to security agencies in the country.
He said if President Jonathan is not checked by the National Assembly, which is the body that has the responsibility to do so at this moment, the nation’s transition may be heading for a rock.
In his words: “This is transition period; the President and the PDP should realise that security agencies are not part of its party structure and should desist from using the nation’s security details to intimidate and abuse members of the opposition party and citizens who may oppose their party’s ideology or position”, Olulade said.
While frowning at partisan position of the Military in the on-going transition, the House cautioned that all security agencies particularly the Army, DSS and the Nigerian police should be conscious that the entire world is watching Nigeria and are keenly interested in Nigeria’s transition and its outcomes.
He observed that the clamping down on opposition members in any transition using security agencies is an invitation to anarchy and beginning of disruption of such transition.
On the postponement of elections by six weeks, House, however, expressed confidence in the ability of the INEC Chairman Prof Attahiru Jega, to midwife free, fair and credible elections in spite of the frustrations being orchestrated by Presidency and the ruling party via the Nigerian Military Service.
Olulade alleged that the Army’s position was the last grand plan by President Jonathan and his party to “achieve their parochial desire to ensure elections are shifted even against popular position of the Council of State which is the highest advisory body to Mr President.
The House decried political interference in electoral process calling the Army’s report a hoax not acceptable to Nigerians and international communities.
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