Group condemns attempts by police to embarrass Saraki over Offa robbery
– Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria, has condemned the attempts by the Nigerian Police to malign, ridicule and embarrass the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
– This was contained in a statement signed by three of their officials namely: national coordinator, Comrade Kalu Victor, Ijewa Zeb Obioma, national secretary and Balarabe, I. Musa, national publicity secretary
– The groups said these negative indications have merely portrayed the current administration as amenable to dictatorship,
The Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria, on Friday, June 8, condemned the attempts by the Nigerian police to malign, ridicule and embarrass the president of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
The condemnation was contained in a statement signed by the national coordinator of the group, Comrade Victor Kalu,
The group stated that the rate at which opposing and dissenting voices are hounded as though we were in a military regime speaks more in agreement with those elder statesmen who have bravely accused and labeled the present administration as dictatorial.
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“This is not good for democracy! These negative indications have merely portrayed the current administration as amenable to dictatorship,” Kalu said, “. If this is allowed to persist, there are already fears that our nascent democracy and all that the Nigerian people had had to go through to get this far in achieving democratic civilization could be easily misconstrued and, possibly, lost.”
Read the statement in full
For quite some time, the Nigerian public has been treated to all manner of inglorious news about the frosty and near cut throat relationship between the Red Chambers of the National Assembly – the Senate and the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police.
All these were emanations from the Inspector-General’s refusal to honour an innocuous invitation extended to him by the much respected Nigeria Senate. It could be said that most Heads of security outfits and agencies appointed by the Buhari regime have little or no regard for the 8th National Assembly as constituted.
Most importantly, following the apparent discomfort of President Muhammadu Buhari to work with Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President, which has led to the no- love- lost relationship between the leadership of the Nigeria Senate and the Presidency, the unwillingness of the Controller-General of Nigeria Customs, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police Force to honour and accord the Nigeria Senate its due respect, has not augured well for smooth democratic experiences and good governance initiatives.
The Nigeria masses have always had to bear with incessant sordid controversies and confrontations between the senate and such agencies or departments at one time or another.
These have occurred in manners and dimensions suggestive of calculated and seeming deliberate motives to make mockery and ridicule the leadership of the National Assembly. This trend can no longer be tolerated by Nigerians.
This is the place of the Civil Society groups to speak out in defence of the noble tenets of democracy and civil rule.
Recently, the Nigeria Police have had to pick on leading figures in the Senate. Their last encounter with Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye had drawn heart rending public outcry to the point that the much politicized and expected recall of the Senator by his constituency proved a woeful failure.
It was, therefore, believed that the life threatening harsh ordeal which Senator Dino underwent at the hands of the police after the recall failed was consequent upon his unexpected victory at the recall ground.
More so, the plan by the police authorities to rope the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki, the Executive Governor of Kwara state, His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, and their close associates into the Offa bank robbery incident has been seen as a vendetta and vindictive move by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in reaction to the persona non grata status which the Senate was forced to declare him due to his vehement refusal to honour a harmless invitation which the hallowed Chambers had extended to him.
This is not good for democracy! These negative indications have merely portrayed the current administration as amenable to dictatorship. The rate at which opposing and dissenting voices are hounded as though we were in a military regime speaks more in agreement with those elder statesmen who had bravely accused and labeled the present administration as dictatorial.
If this is allowed to persist, there are already fears that our nascent democracy and all that the Nigerian people had had to go through to get this far in achieving democratic civilization could be easily misconstrued and, possibly, lost. God forbid that Nigeria will drift back to dictatorship!
It beat our imagination that IGP could succumb to allegations linking a person of Bukola Saraki, a two term Former Governor of an elitist State like Kwara and a Senate President who controls over N150BN National Assembly yearly budget, who also controls the Saraki’s over 2Trillion Wealth and political dynasty in Kwara State that took about 100 years to build across the globe.
What therefore will a money from a branch of a bank situated in a less urban place do for him, what currency will the Armed robbers bring for him; Dollars, Pounds, Yuan, Naira or CFA?
The Coalition of Nigeria Civil Society Groups has, therefore, after careful appraisal of the current ordeal which the Police has subjected the above mentioned elected leaders, (Senate President Bukola Saraki and His Excellency Abdulfata Ahmed) made the following resolutions:
1. That the supposed invitation by the Nigeria Police to the Senate President on allegation of links with robbers and perpetrators of the Offa bank robbery incidence is, rather, unfortunate, given the fact that the personality, office, and pedigree of Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki would not have need for any amount of money from a bank robbery.
2. That it is, rather, too petty and most laughable to craft any allegations of such linking either the senate President or the Executive Governor of Kwara state to such demeaning and unwholesome ‘enterprise’
3. That the Presidency should call the Inspector-General of Police to order, and restrain him from his present bid to embarrass these respected citizens so as to forestall any negative signals which this situation could bring up in the current democratic experience.
4. That it is high time the Inspector-General of Police Mr. Ibrahim Idris is relieved of his duties because, all along his appointment, it has been from controversies to allegations of conducts unbecoming of a police Chief of his standing. When Senator Misau opened up the IGP’s can of worms, Nigerians did not take him serious. Now, his evil manipulations are playing out and the nation could suffer for it if appropriate care is not taken.
5. That the Nigerian masses are no longer gullible. We are more aware of the intrigues to truncate democratic principles. We are not fooled by these uncanny intrigues to malign our respected leaders. We are not deceived to believe what the police wants to feed the public about Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
6. That it was in good order that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and His Excellency, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed had earlier raised alarm before the Nigeria public that the Police was hatching out plans to fabricate lies with a view to trump up charges to rope them into crime which had earlier failed in previous attempt. Now they resorted to associated them with Bank in the Offa bank robbery incident.
7.That it has now become very clear that the duo were not just raising false alarm as the police had claimed but were reacting on good and proper information about the orchestrations by the police to malign and ridicule their persons, offices, and characters.
8. That this is a wake-up call to all Nigerians of good will to stand up in defence of our hard earned democracy. We cannot allow the police to perfect these acts against our elected leaders because life is a cycle and no one knows whose turn it would be to occupy the seat of President of Senate or Governor in future.
9. That it is not about Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki or Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, as it would certainly seem now. It is, rather, about our tomorrow; about our democracy; about our integrity as a democratic nation; and about our lives. An injury to one should be an injury to all.
10. That we give the Nigeria Police an immediate ultimatum to discontinue this invitation both in person and in writing as they now beat a tactical retreat. They should stop the present unprofessional security trajectory, and also desist from using their positions and offices to witch hunt, intimidate, and undermine other leaders.
11. That failure to stop any further harassment of the duo above, we shall engage in a protest march against the police and their excesses all over Abuja and states capitals.
12. That we urge the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki, and the Executive Governor of Kwara state, His Excellency Abdulfatah Ahmed to remain undeterred in their resolve to bring good governance to the Nigeria polity.
13. That Nigerians are standing behind them in prayers in their present ordeal and God Almighty will surely vindicate the just.