Nigeria’s Democracy Risks Military Takeover — Ekweremadu Warns

Nigeria’s democracy is being eroded and at the risk of military overthrow, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has warned.

He said the seeming inaction of government in promptly resolving the numerous challenges currently facing the nation has given rise to his pessimism.

Ekeweremadu expressed this concern on Wednesday while contributing to a debate on a motion sponsored by Ahmed Ogembe, senator representing Kogi Central.

In the motion, Ogembe had alleged that Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State sponsored some political thugs to disrupt an empowerment programme he held for his constituents.

He lamented that although he had written and approached the Kogi State Police Command for security support, they refused to provide security for the event at the instance of the governor.

Reacting to the allegation, Ekweremadu said, “The road he (the governor) is travelling will not lead him anywhere.”

He was, therefore, upset that the nation’s democracy is on a reverse gear.

“You will recall that sometime last year when they wanted to recall Dino, I advised the governor that they are wasting the resources of that state; that it is mission impossible,” he said.

He added, “They took three pages in the newspaper abusing me. Are we still hearing the recall today?

“Money has been wasted. Money that should have been used to pay salaries of people in Kogi State was used to mobilise people to recall Senator Dino, yet those people have not been paid and Dino is still here.

“So today, I am saying to the governor again that the road he is travelling will not lead him anywhere. Ultimately, these people he is seeing here will be back here and he will leave office.”

He warned the governor that, “If he doesn’t stop, there is no how he will come back in 2019. Never! No, he will not.

“God will show him that he is a God of justice and this is a message to all those people who have caused all kinds of problems in Nigeria at different levels.”

He, therefore, stressed that “the problem in Nigeria is that our democracy is receding. Who says army cannot take over, let us not joke with our democracy; that is the issue.”

He continued: “The house of a senator was destroyed in Kaduna State; we are talking about Kwankwaso who was stopped from going to his state where he ruled for eight years.

“In Kaduna, Shehu Sani cannot organise a meeting and we are talking about a democracy? The international community needs to know this because they helped us install democracy.”

Also adding his voice to the debate, Senate President Bukola Saraki said Nigeria’s democracy ought to be a good example for other countries to emulate.

“This is not what democracy is all about. For the role we play in the comity of nations, we need to be good examples to other parts of the world,” Saraki said.

He added, “These kinds of action are unacceptable; it starts with one state; many of us have been privileged to be governors and we are almost 20 years in democracy; this is not the democracy that we should be talking about.

“We saw the case in Kaduna State, how a governor would go and bulldoze a house in Nigeria at this time and we are all still keeping quiet. These are things we must condemn totally.”

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