By Onyebuchi EzigboÂ in Abuja
The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has said that the deployment of soldiers with armored tanks to Abia State in the South East without approvals by appropriate legal authorities amounted to an unconstitutional and gradual usurpation of power by the military.
The group accused the military of illegal take-over of the functions of the National Assembly, the Abia State House of Assembly and the legal authorities.
In a statement issued by the Chairman of NADECO, Rear Admiral Godwin N. Kanu (Rtd), the pro-democracy group said the soldiers’ action was “inconsistent with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and may be the beginning, if not checked, of the unwitting or witting subversion of democracy in Nigeria.”
The statement reads: “On Sunday 10th of September, 2017, the Nigerian Armed Forces invaded South East Nigeria, and in particular Abia State with a large contingent of soldiers, armored tanks and other military paraphernalia.Â
“In Abia State, the soldiers invaded communities, tortured civilian population, over-awed the constitutionally elected governor and civil .institutions of the state, and declared the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist organisation, in defiance of the judgment of the Federal High Court.Â
“All of these actions are unconstitutional and represent an illegal take-over of the functions of the National Assembly, the Abia State House of Assembly and the legal authorities “.
The group which said that it was committed to securing and protecting Democracy in Nigeria however warned that it was time once again to rise and defend democracy in our dear country.Â
“We are very troubled by recent national developments and are forced to issue this warning to all our compatriots that democracy is once again under threat in our nation,â€ they lamented.
On the clamour for restructuring’ NADECO said that what was actually being canvassed for was true Federalism, adding that it was the problem with Nigeria and what was causing all the agitations and instability,Â
It further said that what we have today is an inverted federation which the Military converted Nigeria to.Â
“It is clear to us that unless Nigerians fully understand and address what is at stake, those who benefit from the continued instability of Nigeria will continue to create confusion and delay Nigeria from achieving its manifest destiny,” NADECO concluded.