Updated: March 5, 2021
Security forces on Tuesday prevented many Nigerian opposition Senators from accessing the National Assembly complex, in a plot to allow only Senators loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari to illegally remove the Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki, who dumped the ruling party last week.
Mr. Saraki dumped the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, and joined the opposition People’s Democratic Party, seven months ahead of a general election that observers say may be difficult for Buhari, a retired Major General who promised many things but achieved little.
The President’s loyalists and party members have argued that Mr. Saraki should resign having dumped the ruling party that brought him to office.
Saraki had said he would not resign and would complete his term in office.
One report said APC Senators were not at the National Assembly complex but nearby plotting their removal of the Senate President.
But Senators from the opposition arrived the National Assembly first and were denied entry by security forces in an attempt to allow only those who could remove Saraki in.
Protests at the National Assembly forced security forces, mainly officers from the Department of State Services, DSS, to back off and allow all the Senators in.
The former Vice President Atiku Abubakar described the move as undemocratic and illegal.
He said it was an “undemocratic attempt by fascist forces to break into the National Assembly for the purpose of furthering the agenda to force a change in the Nigerian Senate’s leadership”.
Read what he said in full below.
The attention of former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has been drawn to an illegal and undemocratic attempt by fascist forces to break into the National Assembly for the purpose of furthering the agenda to force a change in the Nigerian Senate’s leadership.
Atiku Abubakar completely condemns this atrocity and calls on all those involved to put Nigeria first and abandon this madness.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, guarantees both the independence of the Legislature and Separation of Powers. Nigeria is a democracy not a military dictatorship and we the people will never return to tyranny.
Atiku Abubakar calls on President Muhammadu Buhari and acting President Yemi Osinbajo to stop hiding behind one finger and live up to their responsibility of upholding the constitution and law and order, which they swore to on May 29, 2015.
“We warned that if what occurred in Benue last week was not checked on time, it would escalate to the federal level. Today we are seeing that warning in play.”
The acting President, being himself a Professor of Law, ought to know that setting such a precedent is an invitation to anarchy.
There are better uses for our security forces at this time than to lay siege to our citadels of democracy. Our people are languishing in the midst of unprecedented insecurity and nationwide killings. To thus deploy our security forces in this present manner whilst Nigerians face these challenges is an abdication of responsibility to say the least.
All Nigerians should be watchful and mobilised to defend democracy. We must remember that ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’.
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