Deputy Senate President at the red chamber, ike Ekweremadu has denied statement
credited to him which suggest that he
was calling for a military coup in the country to which he said the statement was
quoted out of context. following the developments, organised labour is hovever advising the military to continue to steer-clear of nigeria politics.
spoke at the weekend in Yenogoa, Bayelsa state in a gathering of parliamentarian
from African countries Monitored by our correspondent.
maintained that his comments on the floor of the Senate were misconstrued. The
lawmaker said he would never make derogatory statements against the military
which he described as one of the best fighting forces on the continent.
stressed that statements made by lawmakers in the course of their duties should
be situated within the proper context before any form of reaction.
have a duty to continue to defend democracy in the country, arguing that the
difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is the parliament which
should ordinarily provide a direction for the sustenance of democracy.
that his remarks on the floor of the Senate chambers were to caution his
colleague politicians against making the mistakes of the past which led to the
abrupt end of the First Republic.
just tell you one unfortunate incident that happened last week. We had one of
our colleagues from Kogi who was hosting a constituency briefing and
empowerment. He alleged that the government-sponsored thugs to come and chase
away people and destroy the programme and equipment he bought for his people.
condemned such acts, especially where in a particular case, the property of a
parliamentarian was destroyed. We condemned a case whereby parliamentarians
were stopped from holding meetings and where a parliamentarian was stopped from
coming to a state where he was governor for eight years.
warned that it was this kind of reckless abuse of power and impunity that
scuttled our democracy earlier, especially in the First Republic. I cautioned
that politicians should not take things for granted.”
said some people took it out of context and alleged that he was calling for a
called for a military coup. I never said the military was planning any coup. If
you read some parts of the military statement, they admitted that my statement
and contribution were only cautionary and that we were sincere, but they went
as far as saying that the international community should ignore me,” he
to him, the Nigerian military is currently passing through one of its toughest
phases, fighting to keep the peace, which is the more reason they should be
supported, rather than denigrated.
asking for an apology, I am only asking for understanding. I hold the Nigerian
army and the armed forces in high regard. They are some of the best in Africa.
They have defended our democracy, our people and have acquitted themselves in
no reason why l should degrade our military. If they need anything now, it is
encouragement because this is not the best of times for them. So, I call on all
Nigerians to give them the necessary encouragement. But we do hope that when
parliamentarians make statements, they (military) should be able to know
exactly what they said before reacting.
orgainised labour yesterday warned that irrespective of several challenges facing
the country, it is never a justification for military incursion into politics
as it warns that military should continue to steer clear from politics in Nigeria,
adding it will resist any illegal and undemocratic takeover of government in Nigeria.
of Nigeria, ASCSN, labour cautioned those mooting the idea to desist from
throwing Nigeria into anarchy. ASCSN ‘s position came on the heels of
reports credited to the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwueremadu, during a debate
on the floor of the Senate, in respect of the political killings in parts of
the country, where he allegedly stated: “who says that the army cannot
take over in Nigeria. It is possible.” In a statement issued in Lagos, ASCSN
President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary-General, Comrade
Alade Bashir Lawal, contended that any takeover of government by military again
would take the country 50 years backward.
The statement said: “It is common knowledge that since
the military toppled the democratically elected government of Sir Tafawa Balewa
in 1966, suspended the 1963 Federal Constitution and imposed a unitary system
of government, the country’s growth has been stunted. We are also aware that
all democracies in the world including that of the United States of America,
Canada, Europe, etc, are not perfect but are still evolving and being improved
upon.” “The shortcomings being experienced in building democratic institutions
in Nigeria were not peculiar and that with time, some of the flaws would be rectified.
“Thus, under no circumstances should individuals, no matter how highly placed,
should begin to hint of military takeover of government in Nigeria.” This is
because most of the social dislocations we experience today, such as
corruption, deterioration of power supply, collapse of railway, basterdization
of the education system, destruction of the Civil Service, etc, were
exacerbated by military dictators.