Forgery: APC Cannot Intimidate, Harass Me – Ekweremadu

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HRH Igwe Onyioha Nwanjoku welcomes Senator Ike Ekweremadu to Oduma
HRH Igwe Onyioha Nwanjoku welcomes Senator Ike Ekweremadu to Oduma

* As Police Storm NASS For Ekweremadu

Teddy Oscar, Abuja

The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Monday sent a clear message to his political opponents in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), warning them that no amount of intimidation and harassment would deter him from carrying out his constitutional assignment at the Senate.

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This is even as about seven Police detectives were sighted at the National Assembly, who reportedly came to invite Ekweremadu, who incidentally was not on seat as at the time of their arrival.

Ekweremadu, who particularly vowed that he would not succumb to the antics of the APC, assured concerned Nigerians and members of the international community that everything is under control.

He added that all democratic steps were being taken to preserve the nation’s democracy, as well as protect the independence of the legislature.

According to an emailed statement entitled ‘We Will Protect the Independence of the Legislature’, Ekweremadu assured Nigerians that necessary steps were being taken by the security agencies to beef up security around him.

“The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has received numerous calls and messages from well meaning Nigerians, elder statesmen, governors, distinguished senators and honourable members of the House of Representatives across party lines, concerned members of the international community, youth and women organisations, royal fathers, and Civil Society Organisations, among others, who have continued to express utter dismay and concern over the unfolding drama in which his life and liberty are being threatened by desperate politicians.

“Ekweremadu wishes to assure all Nigerians and concerned members of the international community that everything is under control and that all democratic steps are being taken to preserve the nation’s democracy, and protect the independence of the legislature.

“The Deputy Senate President further wishes to assure Nigerians that necessary steps are being taken by the security agencies to beef up security around him.

“He appreciates the nation’s security agencies for their professional handling of the situation so far, and acknowledges with a deep sense of gratitude the numerous youths across the country, who have volunteered to provide additional security around him.

“In all these, however, let it be known that no amount of intimidation or harassment will deter Ekweremadu from carrying out the constitutionally prescribed duties, which on June 9, 2015, PDP and APC senators willingly elected him in the full glare of the world to perform,” the statement read

It would be recalled that Ekweremadu was allegedly invited by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase, to the Force Headquarters in Abuja for questioning over allegations of forgery of the Senate Rules.

The National Publicity Secretary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, who dropped the hint in Abuja, however, said that Ekweremadu would honour the invitation on Monday.

A faction of the APC at the Senate had alleged that the leadership of the 7th Senate, where Senator David Mark and Ekweremadu served as the President and Deputy President, respectively, illegally altered the Senate Rules to allow the PDP, which is now the minority party in the 8th Senate, occupy the Deputy Senate position.

Metuh, who described the allegation as “bogus”, accused the APC of moving forcefully to oust Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President.

“We wish to alert all Nigerians and the international community that there is indeed a clear and present danger of threat to the lives of key opposition leaders in Nigeria. In the last few weeks, key PDP members have become an endangered group for playing their opposition role in providing constructive criticisms to the ruling party in their apparent lack of capacity to get organised and form a government; their interference in the activities of the National Assembly and the demand for the implementation of their campaign promises to Nigerians.

“As we address you today, some key leaders of our party have been under threat since the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly, which did not go the way of the leadership of the APC, particularly the election of PDP’s Senator Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President. The leadership of the PDP has been made aware of various threats to life and other forms of intimidation and blackmail against Senator Ekweremadu from the APC.

“As you may know, the APC leaders have not hidden their bitterness and resentment towards Senator Ekweremadu, whose offence is the privilege of being elected by his colleagues (APC and PDP senators alike) as Deputy Senate President in line with the Standing Rules of the Senate and the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Since President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that Senator Ekweremadu’s election was ‘unacceptable’ to his party, the Deputy Senate President, who can only be removed by the Senate, has come under threats and intense pressure from APC leaders to resign and allow a senator from the ruling party to take his position.

“However, having failed to get him resign, the APC has now engaged in heinous plots to force him out of office, a design, which totally negates the independence of the legislature and the spirit of the Constitution of Nigeria. Apparently to ensure that the agenda is given an official stamp, the Inspector-General of Police, acting on instructions, has invited the Deputy Senate President with a view to arresting him over phantom charges as a buildup to incarcerate him, create a vacuum in the Senate and pave way for the imposition of the APC-preferred senator to take over his position,” Metuh said.

Meanwhile, about seven Police detectives were sighted at the National Assembly, who reportedly came to invite Ekweremadu, who incidentally was not on seat as at the time of their arrival.

It was learnt that the policemen were led a Commissioner of Police (CP), whose identity was not conspicuously displayed.

It was further gathered that they went Ekweremadu’s office, but they did not meet him.

However, nobody in Ekweremadu’s office agreed to say anything on the matter when our correspondent went for clarifications.

Similarly, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has called on his colleagues in the Upper Chamber to be cautious in addressing the issue of alleged forgery of the Senate Rule book 2015 for which Ekweremadu has been invited by the Police.

Briefing journalists on Monday in Abuja, Ohuabunwa also urged the Police to exercise restraints in the manner it wades into matters concerning the internal workings of the Senate.

‎Ohuabunwa, who was a former House of Representatives Deputy Majority Leader, described as unfortunate the invitation extended to Ekweremadu on the matter.

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