By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma
Following the shootout by the Nigerian Police during a rally in Ekiti state, the House of Representatives yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to mandate Nigerian Police authorities to tender apology to Nigerians.
The House equally mandated all its relevant security related Standing committees to probe the crisis and report back within two weeks.
Aggrieved members of Parliament also described the shootout by personnel of Nigeria Police during the All Progressive Congress (APC) political rally which took place in Ekiti as demonstration of executive recklessness and attempt to subdue the interests of the electorates.
The resolution of the House followed a motion titled ‘Urgent need to intervene and save our democracy”, sponsored by Tajudeen Yusuf (PDP-Kogi), who condemned the action of the personnel of Nigeria Police during the rally, which was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and some serving APC Governors and Ministers.
The rally was organised ahead of gubernatorial election slated for Saturday, 14th July, 2018.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion, including Omosede Igbinedon (PDP-Edo); Mike Adeniyi, Kingsley Chinda (PDP-River); Sunday Karimi (PDP-Kogi); Aminu Suleiman (APC-Kano) and
Ali Isa Jesse (PDP-Gombe), condemned the action of the police.
In his lead debate, Yusuf, who doubles as chairman, House committee on capital market and Institutions, expressed concern over the barricade of Ekiti State Government House by Nigeria Police Force, few days to the gubernatorial election.
He frowned at the deployment of heavily armed policemen and other security agencies who locked up all entry points, preventing free movement of people into and out of Ekiti State Government House and shot sporadically with aim of instilling fear in the people, ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“Nigeria is a democratic state and the complete take over and barricade of the Ekiti State Government House and violent assault on armless civilians, including a serving Governor of the State does not fall within the contemplation of the general duties of the Police under section 4 of the police Act and indeed the tents of true democracy and the rule of law.
“The House is concerned that the above state of affairs playing out in Ekiti State clearly portends great danger for us, particularly, in view of the 2019 general elections and the heightened insecurity in the country.
“The House is also concerned that the action of the police is clearly an illegality and constitutional breach which must not happen or continue in a constitutional democracy.
The House is worried that whereas INEC has put in enormous time, effort and public funds/resources in its determination to conduct governorship elections in Ekiti state, the police and other security agencies by their
presence overzealous action and likely to constitute ‘a clog in the wheel’ of INEC’s progress, integrity and credibility of the election and ridicule Nigeria in the comity of democratic nations, he noted.
In his remarks, Sunday Karimi, observed that the Ekiti election is a litmus test for INEC ahead of the 2019 general elections, adding that the action of the Police to foist APC on the people of Ekiti state was condemnable.