Senator representing Kogi West, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has clarified remarks he made on the floor of the senate with regard to military regime and the nascent democracy, stating that he did not express preference for the former.
Media reports had alleged that Senator Adeyemi while contributing to a debate in the Senate said military government was better than the current democracy.
In a statement Thursday by his legislative aide, Chief Olowo Cornelius, Senator Adeyemi said for the purpose of setting the record straight for posterity, what he said on the floor of the Senate was that “truncating the wish of the people by not allowing their votes to count in elections is worst than a military takeover.”
The statement said the senator said this in his contribution to a discussion on a bill to curtail the devastating effects of electoral violence and election rigging.
Noting that It is known globally that the hallmark of democracy is free and fair elections, he said this could not be said of some of the previous elections in which politicians of questionable characters whose adoption of the do-or-die approach to elections had resulted in pandemonium, arson, killings and maiming.
He described this as criminal robbery of the people’s mandates at gunpoint.
The statement read: “The attention of the Office of Distinguished Senator Smart Adeyemi has been drawn to an online news circulating since yesterday where Dist. Sen. Smart Adeyemi was said to have made a submission that ‘Military government is better than a Democratic government’.
“One would have ordinarily ignored this attempt at deliberate misrepresentation of the people’s Senator, first, considering the section of the online media where the news emanated from, who their principal is, and the injuries they still nurse from their losses in the recent Kogi West Senatorial election, their situation can be understood.
“Two, our knowledge of the fact that Nigerians and particularly the Media Sector know DSSA as an astute journalist and a fearless labour leader with indelible records of struggle against the military government, even now as a serving ranking Senator of the Federal Republic, he is too knowledgeable, exposed and mature to make such a careless statement.
“But for the purpose of setting the record straight for posterity, I wish to clarify here that what DSSA said on the floor of the Senate was that ” truncating the wish of the people by not allowing their votes to count in elections is worst than a military takeover “.
“It is known globally that the hallmark of democracy is free and fair elections, but this can not be said of some of our previous elections in which politicians of questionable characters whose adoption of the do-or-die approach to elections have resulted in pandemonium, arson, killings and maiming, even the killing of security agents and Youth Corpers, and the criminal robbery of the people’s mandates at gunpoint. Where free and fair election is lacking, such is worst than a military government.
“In Nigeria today, hardly can elections be held, even for positions as small as Councillorship, without recording casualties, this can not be encouraged nor allowed to continue as the wish of the people as regarding who is to lead or represent them par time must be respected, if only we want, as a nation, to continue to enjoy the grace and favour of God, and the goodwill of the committee of nations. We must know that God will fight for the helpless and common man when criminal minded politician continue to trample upon their rights in their helpless positions.”
Adeyemi said he was also a victim of electoral fraud and rigging in the recent past and had experienced the pains of election rigging.
He added that he spoke from a position of personal experience.
“Nigerians must wake up to the fact that when leaders obtain their electoral mandates legally from the people, their interest and loyalty is to the people, but when electoral mandates are criminally obtained from thuggery and weapons, definitely their loyalty and commitments will be to the thugs and their weapons.
Adeyemi said he believes that “democracy would deliver on its mandates if the processes leading to the emergence of our leaders and representatives are kept peaceful and sacred, development and growth of this nation can only be guaranteed when people occupying various political offices derive their mandates and legitimacy from the people.”