.. I will never be cowed, I will continue to stand for Nigeria, tell the truth, Abaribe
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – SENATE President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Wednesday described the arrest of the Chairman, South East Senate Caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia South by men of the Department of State Services, DSS as one of such sacrifices that must be paid to deepen the nation’s democracy.
Recall that Senator Abaribe who is the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy was picked by DSS at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, penultimate Friday and his house subsequently searched for six hours.
Saraki while responding to a point of Order by Senator Abaribe on his ordeal in the hands of the DSS on the floor of the Senate yesterday, described the action as very unfortunate, however stressed the need for normalcy to be restored in the nation’s polity.
Saraki said, “Distinguished Sen. Abaribe, we are all happy to see that you are back. It was an unfortunate situation that we hope that things will definitely restore back normal in all these issues that concerns you.
“It is one of these sacrifices unfortunately that we all have to make in deepening our democracy.”
Earlier, Senator Abaribe who came under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Order, vowed that he will continue to stand for Nigeria as a country, as nobody can cow from telling the truth.
Abaribe said, “I have been deluged by Nigerians especially my colleagues who have been very worried about the reports that came up regarding my arrest by men of the DSS.
“I crave your indulgence Mr president and that of my colleagues that yes1, that on Friday 22, June, I was arrested at the gate of the Hilton hotel while the international press institute congress was going on. I was taken to the office of the DSS by 11.30 in the morning and subsequently by 5 pm I was taken to my house for a search of my residence.
“When we got to my house, that was the point at which I was now formally informed of why I was arrested because the search warrant that was used stated clearly that I’m being accused with aiding and sponsoring a proscribed organisation, IPOB and so that the search of my house was to look for evidence of such.
“After the search which took another 5 to 6 hours, I was talking to the office of the DSS about 12 midnight and now kept there.
“I have been released through the intervention of all well meaning Nigerians led by you and the leadership of the Senate, so Iam very glad and grateful and want to use this opportunity yo thank all Nigerians who were concerned and who did everything to secure my release.
“Nothing has been found for the allegations that were made. Uptill this moment, iam still on bail, administrative bail by the DSS. Every morning I have to report to the DSS but of course these things are going to be challenged in the court of law.
“I want to crave your indulgence to tell every Nigerian where I want to go and where iam going to. I will do this by hiving you Mr president, distinguished colleagues, a quotation from the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.
“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
“I will continue to tell the truth, I will continue to stand by this country and I will continue to say no person is bigger than this country.”