Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President at the red chamber, ike Ekweremadu has denied statement credited to him which suggest that he was calling for a military coup in the country to which he said the statement was quoted out of context. following the developments, organised labour is hovever advising the military to continue to steer-clear of nigeria politics.
Ekweremadu spoke at the weekend in Yenogoa, Bayelsa state in a gathering of parliamentarian from African countries Monitored by our correspondent.
Ekweremadu maintained that his comments on the floor of the Senate were misconstrued. The lawmaker said he would never make derogatory statements against the military which he described as one of the best fighting forces on the continent.
He stressed that statements made by lawmakers in the course of their duties should be situated within the proper context before any form of reaction.
The senator maintained that parliamentarians have a duty to continue to defend democracy in the country, arguing that the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is the parliament which should ordinarily provide a direction for the sustenance of democracy.
He added that his remarks on the floor of the Senate chambers were to caution his colleague politicians against making the mistakes of the past which led to the abrupt end of the First Republic.
“Let me just tell you one unfortunate incident that happened last week. We had one of our colleagues from Kogi who was hosting a constituency briefing and empowerment. He alleged that the government-sponsored thugs to come and chase away people and destroy the programme and equipment he bought for his people.
“We condemned such acts, especially where in a particular case, the property of a parliamentarian was destroyed. We condemned a case whereby parliamentarians were stopped from holding meetings and where a parliamentarian was stopped from coming to a state where he was governor for eight years.
“We warned that it was this kind of reckless abuse of power and impunity that scuttled our democracy earlier, especially in the First Republic. I cautioned that politicians should not take things for granted.”
Ekweremadu said some people took it out of context and alleged that he was calling for a military coup.
“I never called for a military coup. I never said the military was planning any coup. If you read some parts of the military statement, they admitted that my statement and contribution were only cautionary and that we were sincere, but they went as far as saying that the international community should ignore me,” he lamented.
According to him, the Nigerian military is currently passing through one of its toughest phases, fighting to keep the peace, which is the more reason they should be supported, rather than denigrated.
“I am not asking for an apology, I am only asking for understanding. I hold the Nigerian army and the armed forces in high regard. They are some of the best in Africa. They have defended our democracy, our people and have acquitted themselves in every assignment.
“ I have no reason why l should degrade our military. If they need anything now, it is encouragement because this is not the best of times for them. So, I call on all Nigerians to give them the necessary encouragement. But we do hope that when parliamentarians make statements, they (military) should be able to know exactly what they said before reacting.
Meanwhile, orgainised labour yesterday warned that irrespective of several challenges facing the country, it is never a justification for military incursion into politics as it warns that military should continue to steer clear from politics in Nigeria, adding it will resist any illegal and undemocratic takeover of government in Nigeria.
Labour Speaking through the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, labour cautioned those mooting the idea to desist from throwing Nigeria into anarchy. ASCSN ‘s position came on the heels of reports credited to the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwueremadu, during a debate on the floor of the Senate, in respect of the political killings in parts of the country, where he allegedly stated: “who says that the army cannot take over in Nigeria. It is possible.” In a statement issued in Lagos, ASCSN President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary-General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, contended that any takeover of government by military again would take the country 50 years backward.