A group of civil society organizations, Thursday, staged a protest against what it termed, “an attempt to kill the legislature,” by the executive while urging Nigerians to rise up in defense of democracy.
It also urged democracy lovers to “rise up and condemn the latest affront against the National Assembly by the executive.”
The group, at a rally held at the premises of the National Assembly to show discontent over the Executive/Legislature faceoff, warned that any attempt to “intimidate lawmakers and undermine the independence of the legislature,” will spell doom for democracy.
The statement was jointly signed by Ariyo-Dare Atoye, Co-Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC), Jude Chijioke Ndukwe Convener, Movement for the Advancement of National Transformation (MANTRA) and Prince Deji Adeyanju, Convener, Concerned Nigerians.
The statement read: “Today, we march against the attempt to kill the legislature and undermine democracy in Nigeria as it has become highly imperative for us to be vigilant about the relentless insistence of anti-democratic forces to bring our highly cherished freedom and democracy to their knees.
“While we insist that the National Assembly (NASS) open its books for public scrutiny and ensure transparency in all its activities, make laws that would improve the lives of the people they represent and repeal any law that serves only the interests of a few highly placed citizens to the detriment of a majority of the people, we call on the executive and its agents to respect the rule of law guiding its working relationship with the National Assembly.
“It therefore becomes ours and the responsibility of every patriotic and democracy loving Nigerian to protect and defend our hard earned democracy against those trying to return us to the very dark days of the military era.
“We wish to state that Nigerians are very much aware that the current onslaught against the National Assembly is nothing but just a puerile battle for 2019, and nothing based on good governance or interest of the people!
“We can no longer afford the luxury of these unnecessary distractions. While the executive concentrates on attacking the national assembly, they left their guard open and allowed meningitis to avoidably claim hundreds of lives of Nigerians who depended on them for action against such diseases. This is absolutely unacceptable!
“This unholy attempt to kill our legislature must stop now!”