Updated: February 28, 2021
The Buhari administration released a statement on Tuesday, saying that security forces should be allowed to “do their job”, as anger continued to climb over the harassment of opposition members in the National Assembly.
The Senate President and his Deputy were prevented from going to the National Assembly on Tuesday morning, and anger quickly escalated, with many arguing that they were being persecuted for their political affiliations. Both are members of the opposition.
The Inspector General of Police has invited the Senate President Bukola Saraki to answer questions over an armed robbery attack months ago that left many people dead.
At least one suspect claimed that Mr. Saraki was the sponsor of the gang. But Saraki said the invitation and harassment were politically motivated, months to a general election early next year.
On Tuesday, the presidency issued a statement, saying security forces should be allowed to do their job. It said President Buhari had nothing to do with the the harassment.
Read full statement.
The Presidency has taken note of the orchestrated campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari each time a Very Important Person (VIP) is invited by the law enforcement agencies, in the discharge of their legitimate duties and functions.
The law of the land is intended for all, not for the poor or those at the lowest rungs of the social ladder.
It is odd, strange and bizarre that while ordinary citizens can be called up to answer questions or be interrogated, the VIP cannot be questioned without the annoying insinuations of partisanship, persecution or outright politicization.
This country cannot achieve development in peace when important cases are viewed through a political prism and the law is considered as being applicable to some, and not applicable to others.
The workings of law enforcement agencies are set out in the constitution and the laws of the country. If they worked at the discretion of past presidents, who decided who to question and who to detain, Nigerians should get used to the fact that this President is different. President Buhari does not and will not influence or interfere with cases.
The constitution clearly directs law enforcement agencies to promptly report and investigate any actual or potential infringement of the law and also initiate proceedings against all those involved.
This President is not the one who directs them on what to do.
President Buhari does not stand in the way of law enforcement either. Under our constitution, he has no powers to stop the investigation of anyone or institution. When they are set to investigate anything and anyone, the best friend of the law is the one who lets them do their work.
The President’s constant refrain is that he will not tolerate any form of illegality including corruption and the law enforcement agencies have been given complete freedom to identify and bring all culprits to justice. His instructions to them are very clear: Anyone with a case to answer or found guilty should not be spared.
Accused persons should approach the courts to plead their innocence rather than going to the public to plead persecution.
The country is better served when the law enforcement agencies are allowed to do their work and we must stop the actors of this dangerous game of politicizing law enforcement.
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