- Claim FG wants to freeze Senate’s account
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, thursday received a morale boosting visit from 45 political parties, who went to his Three Arms Zone, Abuja office to show solidarity to him and his colleagues over Tuesday’s siege to the National Assembly Complex by the operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS).
Speaking on behalf of the 45 parties, the Chairman of National Unity Party, Chief Perry Okpara, who condemned the siege, also claimed that the parties had it on good authority that the accounts of both the Senate and Saraki would be frozen anytime from now.
And apparently unhappy with the goodwill that the siege had brought Saraki and the federal legislature, the All Progressives Congress (APC) lashed out at the Senate president, saying he was unfit to occupy his office and insisted that he must step down.
But Saraki, through his spokesperson, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said he would not dignify the party with a response.
The coalition of parties, however, told the Senate president to soldier on, and assured him that they were behind him in his fight to defend democracy in the country.
Okpara said, “We have information that the next line of action is to freeze the bank accounts of the Senate and Senate President.”
He also hinted of plans by the authorities to disrupt legislative activities at the National Assembly through illegal removal of the presiding officers.
According to him, “We wish to state that we the Chairmen and leaders of political parties will not support or stand by to watch any unconstitutional impeachment of the leadership of the National Assembly.”
Okpara described as unfortunate and uncalled for Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly premises by security operatives.
“We unequivocally condemn the use of agencies of state: Nigeria Police, DSS, EFCC to clamp down on the opposition and stifle democracy as demonstrated in the siege to the residences of the principal officers of the National Assembly, the siege on the National Assembly and the siege to the Benue State House of Assembly,” he said
Responding, Saraki reiterated the resolve and commitment of the 8th Senate and the National Assembly to continue to protect and defend the nation’s fledgling democracy.
He told the party leaders that as direct representatives of the people, lawmakers would continue to play their role to ensure that the rule of law was followed and human rights were respected in the country.
Saraki said, “Thank you for the solidarity message and we truly appreciate it as it encourages us to further do what we are doing to defend democracy in our great country.
“The big thank you goes to all Nigerians that stood with us and have come to support us here in the National Assembly because in supporting us, you are supporting our democracy.
“We will continue to defend it. We will continue to ensure that there is respect for the rule of law and that due process is followed across the country.”
He further expressed optimism that the perpetrators of the recent siege on the National Assembly have learnt their lesson from the wide condemnation that has continued to trail the anti-democratic action.
He said, “It is our hope that those anti-democratic forces have leant their lesson in the last few days, to listen to the voice of Nigerians – men, women, boys and girls – all across the country, who stood firmly to reject their unconstitutional and anti-democratic action.
According to him, “Some have paid the ultimate price and we must respect that and ensure that Nigeria, as a country, is a shining example for other democratic nations to emulate. We must not allow anything that will tarnish the image of this country and the democracy we have worked so hard to birth and sustain.”
The parties represented during the solidarity visit include United Democratic Party (UDP); Action Peoples Party (APP); Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP); National Interest Party (NIP); All Grassroots Alliance (AGA); Democratic Peoples Party (DPP); KOWA Party; National Conscience Party (NCP); Alliance for Democracy (AD); Action Alliance (AA); and All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP).