PDP backtracks, demands probe into National Assembly blockade

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has demanded full investigation into the incident at the National Assembly, which led to the shutdown of the legislative complex on Thursday.

The party asked the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, to institute an inquiry to unravel the circumstances and facts surrounding the development within the next 72 hours.

It is the second time the ruling party would react to the chaos that trailed the reconvening of the House of Representatives to consider President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to extend the emergency rule in three North East states – Yobe, Adamawa and Borno — ravaged by insurgent activities.

The party had on Thursday lampooned the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal and other lawmakers who forced their way into the chamber wondering what would have happened in the absence of security operatives. The party said the police merely carried its constitutional duties of keeping law and order.

Mr. Tambuwal was a PDP member until October 28 when he defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

In the latest statement issued on Friday by its spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, the ruling party said the sanctity of the National Assembly as an arm of government and citadel of democracy must be upheld at all times and that the matter should not be shrouded in controversy and accusations.

It said, “Whilst we acknowledge that due to the security challenges in the country, the security agencies are within their constitutional powers to search individuals and ensure that only responsible and duly accredited persons gain entrance into the National Assembly complex, we wish to state in strongest possible terms that we are with President in not condoning any act that might indicate that the police went beyond their bounds in the incident.

“The PDP is known for its unwavering stand in upholding the tenets of democracy. Our stand for justice, fairness, and equity at all times remains undiluted. In the same vein, President Goodluck Jonathan has been very humble and forthright in upholding these principles and rights of citizens. He has instituted free, fair and credible elections and remains unwavering that his ambition does not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

The PDP said it believed that there was no need to shroud the development in controversy, stressing “In this regard, we call for a full investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident within the next 72 hours. Nigerians deserve to know the truth at all times.”

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