Ohaneze, NBA, PDP react to defection, siege on lawmakers

John Nwodo
The leader of Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nwodo

Reactions have continued to trail the reported siege on Senate President Bukola Saraki’ sresidence and that of his deputy, Ike Ekeremadu by security operatives and the subsequent defection of some lawmakers from the All Progressive Congress.

The security officers, who were seen in vehicles, blocked the access routes to the residences of the Senate leaders in the early hours of Tuesday.

The siege was suspected to have been planned to abort the subsequent defections by some lawmakers.

However, Mr Saraki, who had earlier been summoned by the police to appear on Tuesday in relation to a criminal investigation in his home state, Kwara was able to evade the operatives and superintend the plenary where the lawmakers eventually defected.

Evidence also emerged on Tuesday that Mr Ekweremadu had been summoned by the EFCC to appear on Tuesday over criminal investigations.

In a statement by his media office, President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, warned that ”nothing should happen to Mr Ike Ekweremadu.”

Mr Nwodo said that the álarm ”has become necessary following some disturbing reports that operatives of the state besieged his (Ekweremadu) house this morning for yet undisclosed motives”.

“In a democratic setting as ours, we expect security agencies to be civil and work within the rule of the law without breaching the civil liberty of any individual,” he said.

Mr Nwodo said that Mr Ekweremadu, being the highest Igbo man in the government ”is much cherished by his people and is expected that he should be accorded all the respect deserving of his position.”

He recalled that another ”Igbo son, Senator Enyinna Abaribe was incarcerated for three days without any tangible reason disclosed to Nigerians till date”.

“We will not want to be sentimental into believing that there are grand design to silence and humiliate Igbo leaders at the national level who are legitimately representing their people very well but whose stance on issues is not agreeable with the ruling authorities.

“If the Deputy Senate President breached any law, he should be taken to court not put under house arrest. This certainly is a bad omen for our country,” Mr Nwodo added.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association, Abakaliki Branch, Festus Nweke, described the defections ”as good for democratic experience and growth”.

“It is democracy at work in Nigeria. An unambiguous confirmation that the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of association is working without inhibition. It is good for our democratic experiment and growth.”

Also, the Ebonyi State PDP, Chairman, Onyekachi Nwebonyi described the defection as victory for democracy.

He said that the outcome of Tuesday’s plenary at the National Assembly was a clear indication that the party had gathered momentum to take over power from the ruling APC.

He noted that Nigerians were no longer satisfied with the ”way and manner the Buhari-led Federal government was piloting the affairs of the country”.

On the siege, he described it as ”a rape of democracy but not surprising as President Buhari has never shed his military dictatorship tendencies.”

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