More Nigerians have continued to react to last Thursday’s invasion of the National Assembly by the police with former Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur; a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Adeniyi Akintola and various groups and professional associations have condemned the invasion and called for caution.
While Tukur argued that the foundation of Nigeria’s democracy was shaking, Akintola described the invasion as the height of impunity.
Other groups and associations that condemned it include, Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASAN; Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN; Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, and the National President of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Mohammed Garba.
Tukur in his reaction on Sunday said he was moved to tears with the way and manner Nigeria was turned into a state of chaos, warning politicians, especially the lawmakers and security operatives not to derail the nation’s democracy.
Tukur called for a probe of the incident with a view to making amends and preventing a future occurrence.
According to him, Nigeria’s democracy was presently being rocked to its very foundation which would require all hands to be on deck to ensure that it does not collapse.
He added that every Nigerian entrusted with sensitive public positions must learn to place National interest above every other consideration in his or her service to the nation.
In a statement he personally signed and made available to Journalists in Abuja, Tukur, who is Nigeria’s Ambassador-at-Large, also urged government officials and Nigerians in general to be wary of conducts capable of subverting the nation’s hard-earned democracy.
Tukur noted that putting Nigeria first at this critical phase of the Nigeria’s history will assist in preventing the perceived drifting of Nigeria towards the edge of a cliffhanger, adding that he has always been “moved to tears with the manner Nigeria is being gradually pushed to a state of chaos amid the crass display of lack of depth, wisdom and the national interest required of public office holders in managing situations in the country.”
On the face-off between the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Police, Tukur who urged the two parties to be mindful of national interest as they attempt to address their differences, stressed that a pang of depression ran through him, while watching federal legislators as they scaled high barricades to gain access to their offices with video clips of the event going viral in the social media, while many television stations across the globe gleefully feasted on the incident.
In his reaction, Akintola, SAN, lambasted the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba alleging that the IGP was not acting well as head of the force.
Akintola, who spoke with journalists in Ijagbo, Oyun local government area of Kwara State on Sunday also blamed the National Council of State for what he referred to as “fire brigade approach” in ratifying the appointment of Abba as substantive IGP.
According to him: “The commotion in the National Assembly portends danger. But I will not want to lay the blame at the doorsteps of the government; I want to lay the blame at our doorsteps as Nigerians.
“Many of us have been so complacent about the affairs of this country. Many of us have not been able to subject the issues affecting the country to empirical analysis. Look at the appointment of Inspector of Police. It was rushed. Our people must appreciate this. So I want to situate the blame at the doorsteps of National Council of State.
“There are certain positions that before you see people there, they must be tested. The National Council of State that confirmed his appointment in a hurry should take the blame.
“Anybody can give him instruction from above. He should be guided by the constitution of the country and the Police Act. Some of us have travelled wide. They (policemen) were tear-gassing members of the National Assembly, that is an assault on the foundation of democracy itself.
“Section four of the constitution establishes the legislative arm of government, section five establishes the executive and section six establishes the judiciary.
“So the first arm that was established is the legislative arm of government. It is the constitution that drives the development of the society, not individual.
“All of us should be blamed for keeping quiet. Like Wole Soyinka said, by keeping quiet in the face of tyranny, the man has died in many of us. It is unfortunate”.
The National President of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Mohammed Garba on his part, called on the police to reverse their current anti public policing to save Nigerian democracy.
Addressing a press conference in Kano, Comrade Garba stated that ‘visible biases displayed by the police in recent issues of national concerns were direct threat to democracy’.
Garba stated that ‘it’s unfortunate that those who are hired to protect the public have elected to muzzle their interest at the expense of national interest’
The NUJ President, who condemned the police invasion of the National Assembly and the unpleasant intervention in Ekiti political quagmire, further noted that ‘such act of lawlessness on the part of law officers constitutes a national shame.’
Comrade Garba said that the police defence of the National Assembly invasion was a cover up, adding that ‘how on earth you dare stop those out to execute a legitimate mandate conference on them by Nigerian?’
National President of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASAN, Comrade Fatai Jimoh, in a statement, weekend signed by acting Secretary-General, Comrade Ibraheem A.O, said the siege was a result of the inability of the management of the National Assembly to implement its own resolution of 2012.
The statement read in part: “It must be stated that the prevention of the members of the National Assembly from performing their constitutional legislative duties by the Police is the height of impunity being exhibited by the Nigeria Police in the National Assembly. The Police in the Assembly seem not to be serving the interest of the Nation for reasons best known to them.