Senate President Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the National House of Representatives, have vehemently condemned the alleged impeachment of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
We reported that 8 All Progressives Congress (APC) members of the Benue State Assembly led by its former speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, who was impeached and suspended for 6 months last week, moved for the impeachment of Ortom.
First they suspended 22 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the House, and with the apparent help of security agencies barred them from gaining access to the Assembly and then moved to impeach Ortom.
The 2 National Assembly leaders in a statement however described the situation in the state as a desecration of legislative sanctity.
Saraki and Dogara who expressed shock over the alleged role of the police in the crisis further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the police to order.
They said that it is an “undemocratic event in which the minority is seeking to impeach a Governor against the position of the majority”.
“We believe it is the sacred institution of the legislature that is being desecrated and rubbished in all these negative developments. The situation in Benue State House of Assembly has grave implication for the nation’s democracy and it represents a throw-back to the period of dictatorship in our country.
“It also represents how the Nigeria Police are being misused to achieve political end. In a statement recently, the Presidency derisively referred to an era in the past where a minority number of legislators was used to impeach Governors who were unfriendly with the Federal Government. What we are seeing in Benue now is a return to that inglorious era.”
“There is already a tense atmosphere in Benue State following the recent killings. Nobody should encourage any action or move which may exacerbate the security situation in the North-central State. As leaders of the Federal legislature, we are ready to work with our colleagues in both chambers of the National Assembly to prevent any attempt to destroy any state legislature or use it to derail democracy,” they said through their spokesmen, Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan.