The opposition party blamed the Nigerian president for the crisis.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has heaped the blame for the ongoing crisis in Rivers State on President Goodluck Jonathan and asked the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against him for failing to live up to his oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said by his abhorrence of the rule of law and majority rule, the latest indication of which is his unmistakable support for a group of renegade lawmakers who are fomenting trouble in Rivers State, the president has become a clear and present danger to the country’s democracy, and must be shown the way out in accordance with the Constitution.
”Under President Jonathan’s watch and with his tacit support, a few lawmakers dictated to majority of the members of the Ogun State House of Assembly, which was locked for a long time. Under President Jonathan’s watch, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum was sabotaged by his minions who declared a Governor with 16 votes a winner over the one who scored 19 votes, in an injurious blow to the concept of democracy.
”And under his watch, five lawmakers – out of 32 – have become the majority and, simply because they have the backing of the presidency, are now being given police protection to disrupt the proceedings of the House. As we write, Rivers state has been taken over by current and former militants who have been unleashed to destabilize the state and cause a breakdown of law and order, to pave the way for the imposition of a State of Emergency,” the statement said.
It also said ”this cannot and must not be allowed to continue, hence our call on the National Assembly to move quickly to remove the source of the crisis. Since this is no longer an intra-party dispute and because of its potentials to set the country on fire, we also call on civil society groups, professional bodies and ordinary Nigerians to rise up and defend the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution over arbitrariness,” ACN said.
The opposition party decried what it called the anarchy that is now reigning in Rivers, simply because the five renegade lawmakers have the backing of the presidency, which has emboldened them to take extra constitutional measures to try to remove the majority-backed Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
”Taking a cue from the presidency, the State Commissioner of Police has turned himself into a politician and abandoned his constitutional role. Instead of providing security for the entire House to sit, he chose to back the renegades and their thugs to unleash mayhem on their colleagues. This is what you get when a leader dons the garb of a partisan instead of being a statesman. All sorts of minions simply follow suit,” it said.
The party said that in the aftermath of the crisis, the soldiers attached to the State House in Rivers have been withdrawn while there are real fears that the police security will also be withdrawn by a Commissioner of Police who, apparently, no longer takes orders from his boss.
”This is not the democracy that was watered with the blood of many Nigerians. This not what Nigerians bargained for after years of military rule. We should not and must not allow those who are now reaping where they did not sow to reverse the little progress that we have made,” the ACN warned.
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