By victoria ojeme
ABUJA—Still fuming over over the presidency’s recent comment that he is not a democrat, Senator Joseph Waku yesterday accused the presidency of rather being undemocratic.
Waku, who represented Benue North-West Senatorial District between 1999/2003, had in a national daily (not Vangaurd) accused President Goodluck Jonathan of inducing delegates to secure his victory during the just concluded Peoples Democratic Party’ PDP, presidential primaries.
But the Jonathan-Sambo Campaign Organisation has dismissed Waku’s claim, accusing him of harboring anti-democratic tendencies
Briefing newsmen in Abuja, in response Waku said: “I don’t know what the presidency mean by saying that I am not a democrat.
Having got three certificates through democratic processes and then, you turn round to say this man is not a democrat because according to you, a mischievous magazine had maliciously published an attitude of which was baseless and unfounded, that statement is not tenable.
“Rather, they are undemocratic. Democracy is about expressions; freedom of speech and freedom of expressions and I remain the defender of democracy in and out of Chambers.
On calls for his arrest
“I thank Nigerians and again, some Nigerians that are calling for my arrest, threatening to take me to court; I wait for those days to come. As a democrat, there must be a price you must pay. So, if that meant the price I would pay to defend democracy, so be it,” Waku added.
Speaking on his alleged call for military intervention, Waku said: “The Senate suspended me to investigate me and the same Senate that suspended me, invited the editor of the Tell Magazine with the tape of the interview. From the beginning to the end, there was no such word in that interview and I was exonerated.
“Not only was I exonerated, but the decision of the suspension was rescinded, which therefore meant that it is not even on record that I was suspended. The greatest history that the issue threw up was when I was walked into the Chambers to take my seat by the then Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security, Senator Nuhu Aliyu.
“He led my re-entrance into the Senate after the investigation and decision.
“Voice of America, VOA, British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, Cable Network News, CNN, Sky News, including the local media, reported that in the Nigerian parliament, history was made when Senator Waku moved into the Senate Chambers and was received by his colleagues in a standing ovation.
“A singular act which has never happened in the world in the history of parliament, that a parliamentarian would walk into the chambers and receive a standing ovation.”
“And in the Senate or any other parliament anywhere in the world, the only standing ovation that it gives, is to heads of government when they come to the parliament to present a speech and if the speech is moving, then such a leader receives such ovation. What else would make one a democrat? Which undemocratic culture were they referring to? Does it mean they don’t go through history?” Waku asked.
Waku further advised the presidency to shun any act capable of heating up the polity and learn to accept criticisms in good faith aswell as imbibe the culture of democracy.