By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—All Progressives Congress, APC, governors, weekend, described the police siege on the National Assembly last Thursday, as “an ugly development, unfortunate and disgraceful.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and some other members were not only prevented from gaining access to the chambers, but were also tear-gassed by the police.
Chairman of the APC Governors Forum, who also doubles as the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, said: “The incident was a disgrace to the country’s growing democracy, and the worst known incident in the history of the country’s National Assembly.”
Governor Okorocha stated that with all that happened at the National Assembly, the second arm of the country’s government had been made an object of caricature.
“The police should have been conscious of the institution in question and the personalities concerned in handling whatever was their reason for being there”, Okorocha said.
The APC Governors’ Forum Chairman said: “What happened at the National Assembly on Thursday was condemnable by all lovers of democracy. It was not a good thing to the image of the nation. It was a slap on the face of our democracy. The National Assembly of every nation is seen as a very powerful propeller in its democracy, and ours won’t be an exception. So, our democracy was disgraced. Our National Assembly members were disgraced and invariably Nigerians, who they represent, were also disgraced by the singular action of the police.”
Okorocha was not only of the view that using the police to intimidate the members of the National Assembly was unacceptable, he also insisted that using tear-gas on the legislators was equally despicable.
“It was an insult to all Nigerians of goodwill, and all lovers of democratic ideals in the country. The police officers are also Nigerians who should in no small measure help the country’s democracy to grow from strength to strength because at the end of the day, all Nigerians will be beneficiaries of a strong, united and democratic nation,” Okorocha said.