Melaye Seeks State of Emergency in Kogi

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Senate condemns assassination attempt Lawmaker petitions over death of Joy Odama

Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

Following the alleged assassination attempt on his life in Lokoja on Monday, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) has called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the state due to what he described as a breakdown of public order and safety.

This is as the Senate condemned the assassination attempt and urged security agencies to unravel the identities of the persons behind the attack which is the second attempt on Melaye’s life in recent times.

Melaye, who raised a point of order at plenary yesterday again alleged that the attack was orchestrated by the Kogi State Governor, Mr. Yahya Bello.
He cited section 305 (3c) of the 1999 Constitution which allows the president to proclaim a state of emergency “when there is break down of public order and public safety in the federation or in any party thereof of such extent as to require extra-ordinary measure to restore peace and security.

“I will seek the leave of this Senate to bring a proper motion to ask for the declaration of a state of emergency in Kogi State. As I speak to you Kogi State is no longer passable since Yahaya Bello became the governor. Kidnapping is going on a daily basis. Insecurity is on the rise than ever. There has been four jail breaks in Kotorn Karfe prison since he became governor,” Melaye said.

The senator also called for an audit of the arms and ammunition in the government house armoury.
“We cannot continue like that, there is already a state of anarchy,” he said. “This is the second attack of an assassination attempt on my life orchestrated by the Kogi State government, I also put on record, that those attacking me, we have video evidence,” he added.

Presiding, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu condemned the attack and expressed optimism in the ability of the security agencies to investigate the matter adequately.
Ekweremadu added that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety of lives of citizens.

Also at the plenary yesterday, Senator Rose Oko (Cross River North) called on the Senate to wade into the murder case of late Miss. Joy Odama, a second year student of Cross River State University of Science and Technology (CRUTECH) whose death in unclear circumstances is linked to one Alhaji Usman Adamu, in Karimo area, Abuja.

Oko who raised the matter as a point of order, said the deceased, who was 19 at the time of her death in December 2016, deserves justice.

The senator alleged that the police in Karimo, are complicit in covering up the circumstances of Odama’s death which an autopsy has revealed was caused by acute cocaine poisoning.
Odama is suspected to have encountered her death while on a visit to Adamu, who was said to be a ‘philanthropist’.

The matter was referred to the Senate Committees on Police Affairs and Judiciary.
In another development, the Senate called on the Ministry of Health at all levels, to embark on mental health sensitisation and awareness campaign to check the rising wave of suicides and suicide attempts in Nigeria.

It also called for the establishment of free and accessible mental health stations in government owned hospitals and clinics.
This followed a motion sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) who urged Nigerians to look out for possible symptoms of unhappiness and depression, and seek professional help where necessary.

Tinubu expressed concern that the rising incidences of suicides are made worse by lack of attention, and the belief that depression and other personality and mental disorders are the white man’s sickness, and thus, does not affect Nigerians.

“Suicide and its attendant causes namely depression, social and economic problems, low self esteem, traumatic experiences, physical and emotional abuse, substance abuse, bullying, etc are not alien to Nigerians,” she said.
The listed causes, Tinubu noted, are enough to send anyone over the edge.