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Kogi state crisis ‘threat to Nigeria democracy’ – Bukola Saraki

By Nwafor Sunday

Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki on Wednesday condemned the lingering socio-political unrest in Kogi state especially the recent attack by suspected armed thugs on Sen. Ahmed Ogembe’s empowerment programme, noting that such act undermines the tenets of democracy in the country.

Speaking at the Senate plenary, Saraki adjoined with other senators support the adoption of democracy as the only system of government to be practiced in the country.

“It is clear that we are all in support of the issue that democracy has come to stay and there is no other alternative. It is important that we take this discussion on the unfortunate incident that happened to Senator Ogembe .”

Recall that on the 3rd of March 2018, Senator Ahmed Ogembe, representing Kogi Central Senatorial district was attacked by suspected thugs who armed themselves with dangerous weapons and stormed the empowerment event centre, attacking people and disrupting the seating arrangement for the event.

In view of the above report, Sen. Ogembe opined that the empowerment programme he is sponsoring was disrupted and this has caused violence in Kogi Central.

The police command refused to act, my supporters were seriously injured. However, the political intimidation and violence is on the increase.

“As at now I cannot go home because I am not sure of my safety”, he said.

In response to his attack and other socio-political turbulence in the state which Sen. Dino Melaye is part of Saraki said, “It’s not really just about Kogi State, but it is clear from what we are seeing that Kogi State is coming to the point where it is a threat to our democracy and it cannot be seen to define our democracy because this is not what our democracy is about.

“We must be seen to be making examples to other parts of the world. We must take actions that will prevent this kind of incidents from happening.

”We are almost 20years into democracy and this cannot be the democracy that we should be talking about after 20years and its totally unacceptable.

“Just as DSP said, it’s not only in Kogi State, we saw the cases in Kaduna state. How can a Governor proudly say he is going to bulldoze a house in Nigeria at this time and we are all keeping quiet?! These are things that we must condemn totally.

“On the unfortunate incident that happened we thank the Almighty God for your life and that we will definitely not stop until we get to the bottom of this and hold whoever is responsible for this.

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and Dino Melaye

“These actions that have been seen in the local governments, but truly if we don’t do something about it, it is a threat to our entire democracy and we must all stand up particularly now that there is a lot of consideration being given to state police.

”When people listen to this I’m sure will start having thoughts. This action alone is something that is needed and will influence some of the reforms we want to embark on, so we must be seen to do the right thing”, he finally said.

In their various contributions, to the above issue, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said, “The situation between the Governor and the Senators from Kogi State is becoming worrisome, we need to act and make sure the IG is questioned for such an act from the Area Commander.”

Supporting him, Senator Bala Na’allah opined, “The problem in Kogi State goes to say that the Governor has been abusing his office and this is not democratic to democracy.”

Contributing also Senator Dino Melaye said, “The Governor of Kogi State cannot shut me up because he must pay the salaries of workers and cater for the welfare of the people of the State. Senate President, @bukolasaraki please help us on the issue of Kogi State.”

On his own part, Senator Godswill Akpabio posits that “This must be food for thought for all of us. I am worried for Kogi State, Nigeria and the year 2019. Necessary actions and resolutions must be made. We should use Kogi State as an example to work together with the FG to bring lasting solutions.”

In conclusion, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, said, “The tragedy we are facing in Nigeria is the tragedy of small minds occupying big offices. The @NGRSenate should take this seriously.”

The Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu suffixed his position as he said“We cannot continue like this and call it democracy if Senators cannot freely go back to their homes. This is wrong and let us have a lasting solution for democracy to stay.”

The senate however, condemned Ogembe’s attack in totality and said in a strong terms that it is a threat to our democracy.

Moreover, Senate equally set up an Ad-hoc committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the disruption and violence during the empowerment programme organized by Senator Ahmed Ogembe and determine the involvement of the Nigerian Police Force in 2 weeks.


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