Some senators of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC), have blamed the present administration as well as President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent incidents involving a fellow lawmaker, Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West).
The senators are Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) and Muhammed Shittu (APC, Jigawa North East).
The lawmakers took turns to express their disappointment at the federal government while contributing to a point of order raised by Samuel Anyawu (PDP, Imo East).
Mr Melaye was arrested by immigration officers at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport and later released.
A statement signed by his media aide, Gideon Ayodele, on Wednesday morning, said the senator voluntarily submitted himself to the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who had laid siege to his private residence since around 3.35pm of Monday, April 23, 2018.
He added that Mr Melaye did not deserve to be forcibly taken to Kogi State to stand trial in a slew of criminal indictments that include murder and armed robbery.
“He, along with his lawyers and personal aides, was driven in his private car to the SARS office in Guzape district of Abuja, sandwiched among the numerous police vehicles earlier deployed to his house,” Mr Ayodele said.
But shortly after Mr Melaye entered the police custody in Abuja, officers dragged him in a vehicle and headed towards Lokoja, the Kogi State capital which also falls under his Kogi West Senatorial District. Mr Melaye feared that his life would be in danger if taken to Lokoja, amongst other alleged sinister motives of both the police and the state government there, the aide said.
The senator was alleged to have jumped out of the vehicle and sustained injuries and was later taken to the National Assembly where he is currently receiving treatment.
Mr Shittu, angered at how Mr Melaye was handled by the security operatives, described it as a violation of human rights as he accused the “law” of working against those perceived to be enemies.
“Everybody has right to freedom and right to be treated according to the law. The law now works against people who are perceived to be enemies.
“You fight for change and this is the kind of change we are experiencing today. There are proofs and I know because of what I’ve said, I can be killed. I don’t mind being killed. It is good for one to speak the truth and be killed,” he said.
He described recent happenings as unfair stating that each lawmaker has a right to his or her opinion.
“Everybody is against the National Assembly as if we are the enemies of this nation. We are not enemies. We are representatives of the people and as such, we must speak the truth.
“We should condemn, in totality, what is happening. What is happening is not the change. How can a serving senator be treated like that?
“If this is change, I doubt if I can continue under this kind of environment. And I know a lot of people share similar opinion with me.
“This is no change. We didn’t vote this government to be mistreated. We didn’t vote this government to abuse court processes and procedures. It’s not fair, we advise the government to change before it is late,” he said.
In his remark, Mr Sani expressed concern over the systematic pattern of violation of fundamental human rights in the country adding that he is also a target.
He condemned the use of force by the police to disperse peaceful protesters as well as elite Nigerians who violate court orders describing it as a breach of democratic values.
“This is not the best of time for some people to speak up for the fear of being targeted. And election season is at hand and people want their ticket back.
“People need to understand that life itself is temporary, who gave you the assurance that you’ll be up to 2019. What happened to Dino is an onslaught on democracy.
“For people like us, I know very well I’m also a target and I will fall into the situation of Dino but I’m not bothered. What bothers me is to say the truth as it is.
“People who have worked erroneously and sacrificed their lives and resources to see the change we need today have consistently been tagged or targeted as enemies of the president.
“How can people who have worked to bring the president into power started being targeted as being his enemies.
“We should understand that if we continue on this track, we are heading to perdition,” he said.
He further cautioned every Nigerian in authority to be mindful of their modes of applying the power stressing that power is temporary.
“My main concern is this, whatever we do today because we are in power, we may be at the receiving end tomorrow.
“There’s always a karma for the way you apply power. Dino’s incident is going to be a history of the 8th senate and the Nigerian government.
“Dino is a victim today and an attack on one is an attack on all. If you’re happy that the parliamentarians are being harassed because you don’t like his face, tomorrow there’ll be a Parliament you like with a president you don’t like,” he added.
Oluremi Tinubu cautioned her colleagues asking them to focus on the topic of discussion.
“I am against digressing away from the main issue here. We should not implicate different issues. I am not a lawyer, I’m a scientist and I’d rather face the issue.
“If we are talking about an issue, we should stick to it but when we begin to bring in a government that many people supported to be here, to use whatever happened to implicate the government, is not right,” she stated.
“If we have anything with the executive, we have leadership here who are supposed to go there and meet with Mr President.
“But we should face the main issue because this government has been just three years of 16 years of rot. It has only been in power for three years and has inherited a lot of troubles,” she said.
The senate thereafter, adjourned plenary and set up a delegation to visit Mr Melaye at the hospital and find out his state of recovery.
It also resolved to summoned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to appear on plenary tomorrow, Thursday at 11am and brief the senate on Mr Melaye’s matter.
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