The South East Caucus of the House of Representatives has expressed dismay over the onslaught of the President Mohammadu Buhari’s led Federal Government against the people of the South East geo-political zone.
The legislators said it watching with keen interest the latest of the serial onslaughts against the person and office of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
The Deputy Minority Leader and Caucus Leader for the South East Caucus, in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema in a statement at the weekend said the latest onslaught is being carried out through what he called “trumped-up forgery charges” already before the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja.
According to the statement which was made available to THISDAY, from what we have read from the newspapers and other media outlets, the charges being preferred against Senator Ike Ekweremadu in particular and others in general are charges that cannot be sustained in a competent court of law. This, no doubt, leaves us with the strong impression that the Federal Government and its agents within the APC are hell-bent on removing Senator Ekweremadu and thereby shut out the South East from the substantive positions of the Federal Government at all cost.
Onyema stated that the caucus was aware that it was a settled matter in law that unless there is an infraction on the constitution, the executive arm and its agencies have no right whatsoever to interfere in the internal affair of the National Assembly.
He argued that assuming, but without conceding, that there was indeed a case of forgery of the senate standing rules, it is the duty of the Senate as an institution to investigate and make remedies as may be necessary.
“It is not for the executive to intrude into the business of a separate arm of government to carry out a coup. To this end, we are therefore calling on all well-meaning Northern elders, federal legislators, and the international community to rise up in the defence of our nascent democracy. There is currently no one of South East origin in President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘kitchen cabinet’, and the distribution of other appointments such as ministerial appointments leaves no one in doubt that this government has an incurable resentment for Ndigbo”, he said.
According to him, as a group, we will do everything that is lawful and within our powers to ensure that this only substantive position occupied by the South East in this administration through the support of senators from all parts of the country, is protected.
We warn this government to stop this divisiveness, marginalization, exclusion, and palpable resentment for the good people of the South East. Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution is clear on the fact that a citizen of Nigeria shall not be discriminated against on grounds of ethnicity, places of origin, sex, religions, and political opinions.
Onyema maintained that the people of the South East, being part of this country, are entitled to the blessings of democracy, their political affiliation and voting patterns notwithstanding.
“We demand that the Federal Government should stop forthwith all plots to unseat the Deputy President of the Senate and all treatments that present the people of South East as lesser Nigerians. If anything, this All Progressives Congress administration should apply the raw political will and brutal tendencies of its security agencies towards ridding the region of marauding herdsmen who kill, rape, rob, and maim with impunity and still get away with it”, he added.