The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the police invasion of the National Assembly last week is the equivalent of a coup and called for an independent inquiry to determine who ordered the invasion and for what purpose, with a view to preventing a recurrence and also meting out the necessary punishment to those behind it.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said using weapons to attack an arm of government and preventing it from carrying out its functions are tantamount to a coup, adding that the tear gas that was fired into the National Assembly by an invading force of policemen is a chemical weapon.
”We are demanding the independent inquiry In view of the seriousness of the armed attack on the National Assembly and the danger it poses to our democracy. We are also alerting the international community to the happenings in Nigeria and urging them to show interest because of their investment in the country’s democracy,” it said.
The APC said the tepid denial by the presidency of its involvement in the senseless attack is not enough to stop the finger-pointing at it (presidency), especially because no one, not even the Inspector General of Police, will have the temerity to stop the nation’s number four citizen from entering the National Assembly without an express order from the President. ”This is why we have continuously held the President responsible for last week’s show of shame,” the party said, noting that the IG is just a tool in the hands of a President that has perhaps done more than any other President before him to truncate the nation’s democracy.
”We make bold to say that President Jonathan has worked assiduously to put Nigeria’s democracy in jeopardy, whether in Rivers where he backed a misguided Police Commissioner to usurp the constitutional duties of an elected Governor, or in Ekiti State where he has so far refused to condemn the so-called impeachment of the Speaker by seven PDP members in a 26-member House of Assembly.
”Also, apart from the halfhearted and belated denial, the President has not condemned the attack on the National Assembly by the police. A President that is conversant with the dictates of the constitution which he swore an oath to protect would have gone ahead to make a national broadcast to condemn the police invasion of the Assembly and even promised to get to the root of the matter. Instead, our President has maintained an undignified silence in the face of the global outcry that has greeted the orchestrated police action,” it said.
APC advised President Goodluck Jonathan to stop behaving as if he wants to be the last President of a united Nigeria and to immediately put an end to actions that are inimical to the very survival of the country’s democracy.
Meanwhile, the party has congratulated the members of the National Assembly, especially those who scaled the high gates of the National Assembly, for the sacrifices they have made to defend the nation’s democracy. it said the lawmakers, by their action, risked their lives for the survival of Nigeria’s democracy, hence they are heroes.
”The lawmakers who united across party lines last week to restore the integrity of the House of Representatives and prevent an attempt to truncate our democracy are heroes, because if they had not done what they did, no one could have imagined the consequences of the orchestrated police action against the National Assembly.
”The Senators who stormed the House in sympathy and solidarity with their colleagues, including Senate President David Mark, should also be commended by all for resisting tyranny and for facing up to anti-democratic forces,” APC said.