- Blames PDP, Saraki
- APC betraying guilt, says main opposition party
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Following last Tuesday’s incident at the National Assembly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the deployment of the operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) was necessitated by the fears of a plot to unleash violence on the place by the supporters of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
This is coming as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said the presidency and the APC were being haunted by their guilt, following the barrage of national and international indignation against them over their failed attempt to illegally take over the National Assembly on Tuesday
Masked DSS operatives armed to the teeth took over the two gates of the National Assembly at the dawn of Tuesday, preventing senators and staff of the National Assembly, as well as journalists from gaining entry into the premises of the apex legislative institution.
The ruling party, which issued two statements on Tuesday, disassociating itself and condemning the DSS action, issued another statement wednesday, justifying it.
While calling for a thorough probe of the entire incident, APC said it still maintains the call on Saraki to resign his post as Senate president.
In the statement issued by the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabene, the ruling party accused the main opposition party and the supporters of Saraki of planning to forment trouble.
The ruling party whose new position contradicted the earlier one, said it had discovered that there was a plan hatched to cause violence at National Assembly.
“We are now aware that the timely intervention of the security operatives forestalled the planned violence which could have led to possible deaths, injuries and destruction of property in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
“Our investigations have now uncovered the sinister plot hatched by Saraki, to foment violence in the legislative chamber all in a bid to stop his impeachment,” the party said.
APC also alleged that the move to reconvene the National Assembly by Saraki was to forestall his impeachment.
“Why did the Senate president mobilise thugs to the National Assembly who almost lynched Hon. E.J. Agbonayinma, the only APC federal lawmaker present but for the timely intervention of security operatives?
“Why did the Senate president reconvene the National Assembly? Ostensibly as a pre-emptive move to frustrate federal lawmakers move to impeach him.
“Is it not curious that only PDP federal lawmakers were present in their numbers-some as early as 7a.m., while the majority APC federal lawmakers were elsewhere holding a caucus meeting on the state of the nation.
“We call on the security agencies and relevant bodies to as a matter of urgency probe these findings and take all necessary and legitimate action to stop these illegalities which pose a direct and ominous threat to our democracy.
“While our contention with the leadership of the National Assembly as currently constituted is a matter of public record, we still believe that the legislature as an independent arm of government must be allowed free reign for vibrant contestation of ideas and values amongst its members within the context of their constitutional mandate and for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
“Finally, we reiterate our call for the Senate president to resign from the position immediately as he no longer has the moral and legitimate ground to occupy that position as a member of the minority PDP. Going by the popular axiom, the majority will have their way, but the minority will have their say,” it said.
However in a swift reaction, the PDP said the presidency and the APC were being haunted by their guilt, following the barrage of national and international indignation against them over their failed attempt to illegally takeover the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The PDP said with the failure of the presidency and the APC to sway the public with the sack of the Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, they have become schizophrenic in their bid to politicise the invasion, while further exposing their culpability in the sordid act.
In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party said APC’s jaundiced reasoning and penchant for deceit knows no bound.
“Is it not schizophrenic for the APC, in its statement, a day after the invasion, to accuse Saraki of triggering security issues at the National Assembly, when the presidency had already ‘found’ DSS Director General wanting and summarily sacked him for the invasion?
“How can the APC accuse Saraki of causing security concerns by ‘reconvening’ the National Assembly, when it is public knowledge that the National Assembly has not been reconvened, despite the pressure by the factional National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang and Senator Ahmed Lawan on the leadership of the Senate to reconvene?”
“Is it not revealing that the APC, in alleging that the Senate president ‘reconvened’ the Senate as a pre-emptive move to frustrate federal lawmakers’ move to impeach him, unwittingly exposed their plot to cause violence and illegally take over the Senate?”
PDP further said that APC, in its statement has finally vindicated its position regarding its plans to stampede the Senate president to reopen the National Assembly wherein it will unleash thugs and security agencies to trigger violence, overwhelm the legislature and forcefully take over the leadership of the Senate.
“Nigerians are now clear on the fact that the invasion was carefully planned by the APC and the presidency and that they would have succeeded but for the resistance mounted by our lawmakers, Nigerians and the media, who stood in defence of democracy.
“We invite Nigerians to note that in its attempt to politicise the invasion and provide cover for the culprits in the Presidency and the APC, the APC has ended up exposing their sinister plots and culpability,” it said.
The PDP said that it is insisting on an independent panel of enquiry to be headed by a retired Chief Justice of Nigeria to investigate the remote and immediate cause of the assault, while all culprits, no matter how highly placed, must be made to face the wrath of the law.