Post Views: 120 Says NASS To “Investigate Crisis in South-east” Senate President Bukola Saraki, on Monday described the twin announcement ...
Says NASS To “Investigate Crisis in South-east”
Senate President Bukola Saraki, on Monday described the twin announcement of the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by Governors of Nigeria’s South-east states and its categorization as a ‘terrorist organisation’ by the military hierarchy as “unconstitutional,” because the proclamations failed to follow due process.
This conclusion, he noted in a statement personally signed by him is based on the reality that “our laws make clear provisions for taking such actions and without the due process being followed, such declaration cannot have effect.”
He expressed hope that President Muhammadu Buhari “will do the needful by initiating the right process. This will go a long way in demonstrating to the world at large that we are a country that operate by laid down process under every circumstance. So, those who have been hammering on this point should maintain their cool.”
He assured that the National Assembly plans to investigate what happened between the military and members of IPOB, suing for calm and restraint by all to allow for a joint solution to the current problem rather than worsening the crisis, which he warned will not benefit anybody but only expose innocent people to unwarranted danger.
The fact-finding investigation, he said, is to determine “what actually happened during the period of the military exercise (Python Dance) in the South-east.
“We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what. It is quite clear that all the facts are not yet known. We assure Nigerians that there will be no cover up. We intend to lay the facts bare,” he stressed.
Saraki, nonetheless, commended Nigerians outside the South-east who have worked to ensure that the crisis does not spread to other parts of the country, just as he enjoined public commentators and purveyors of information in the media to “be conscious of the need, at all times, to maintain the unity of the country.
“Therefore, they must refrain from circulating information that has the potential for aggravating the crisis. We should all realize, as individuals and as a collective, that Nigeria is all we have and it is in our individual and collective interests that we do not stoke the fire of crisis and fan the ember of discord through the message we are spreading. We must all protect and strengthen our country rather than contributing to her collapse and disintegration.
He commended the military for its efforts at restoring peace to different parts of the country and sustaining the unity of the country, but called for restrain in the face of provocation, guided by their professional “training which emphasizes respect for human rights, even in war.
“Also, giving the nature of this particular situation, the military has every reason to be hesitant in the use of force,” the Senate President stressed, warning against any situation that would over-stretch the military, but protect it against dissipation of fighting strength.
And this means, he stressed, that “we need to strengthen the police and equip them with the capacity to deal with civil crisis. That is why we, in the National Assembly, are already reviewing the Police Act and also looking at the possibility of enabling other para-military agencies to help in curbing civil unrest and maintenance of law and order.”
For him, the long term desire is that Nigeria remains one, reminding that the NASS embarked on constitution review, which he said will be continuous, to look into issues agitating the minds of Nigerians and creating tension in the land.
“We intend to keep that promise by further taking decisions that would strengthen and improve on our structures,” he added, assuring that the NASS will play its constitutional role by addressing all those issues that are agitating the minds of our people and over which they feel so strong.
While urging all to always direct their grievances to the right channels, Saraki called on leaders of thought, whether -political. religious and traditional, to continue engaging with the people on the need to maintain peace and being “our brothers’ keepers.”