There appears to be no end in sight yet, in the apparent frosty relationship between the between the Police and the senate, particularly the Senate President.
Events of last week- the early morning siege on the residences of two principal officers, Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu may have even worsened the already bad relationship.
The nation’s capital was greeted with the news of an early morning blockade last Tuesday, of the residence of Ekweremadu in Apo Legislative Quarters and the Maitama residence of Senator Saraki
According to reports, the police were out to prevent the presiding officers from attending a crucial senate session that morning where some senators in the ruling-All Progressives Congress (APC) were scheduled to cross-carpet to the opposition-Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
As it turned out, the Senate President and his deputy escaped the “blockade” and found themselves in the chambers of the senate on time for the session where the cross-carpeting actually took place.
The Inspector General of Police(IGP) responded with a denial that his men and officers did not participate in the “operation” that tended to block the presiding officers of the senate from leaving their residences. The IGP then promised to carry out an investigation to ascertain what really happened with the view to bringing perpetrators, if any to book.
While we await the outcome of the IGP’s inquiry into this matter, we hasten to condemn in strong terms the use of a vital institution like the police in furtherance of political interests as the alleged siege on the residences of the senators seems to suggest.
In our view, the alleged blockade was an assault on the rights of the senators to freedom of movement as it was a threat to our nascent democracy.
There should be no reason whatsoever, for anybody or institution of government to attempt to stop the legislature from sitting as doing so amounts to a coup of sorts against the people since the National Assembly remains the bastion of democracy as the representative arm of government.
We are concerned like many other Nigerians about the frosty relationship between the IGP and the Senate President which has been exacerbated by the vexed issue of the indictment of the former in the Offa bank robbery saga.
It is clear to us that politics, bitter politics has taken over reason, rule of law and constitutionality hence the unending quarrels between the IGP and the Senate President.
While it is healthy for individuals, organisations and institutions of government to disagree in a democracy, such disagreements must be based on principles provisions of the laws of the land.
We regret to observe that the disagreements between the IGP and the Senate President appear more to be an extension of the political differences between Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the ruling-APC and remotely, President Mohammadu Buhari, who the IGP is seen to be standing proxy.
Against this background therefore, we call on the IGP to exercise restraint in the use of his official influence in furtherance of anybody’s political or other interests.
With regards to the last week’s incidence, we urge the IGP to get to the roots of the illegal siege on the residences of the senate presiding officers and to stop at nothing to punish those involved in the illegal operation.