Court Ruling: There’ll Be No Peace Anywhere In Nigeria If FG Backs Acts Of Impunity In Rivers – APC

PEOPLE SCAMPERING FOR SAFETY AS POLICE DISPERSE RIVERS LAWMAKERS USING TEAR GAS
PEOPLE SCAMPERING FOR SAFETY AS POLICE DISPERSE RIVERS LAWMAKERS USING TEAR GAS

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has issued a terse statement warning against any reliance on Wednesday’s judgment of an Abuja federal high court which nullified the takeover of the functions of the Rivers House of Assembly by the National Assembly to perpetrate any mayhem or unconstitutional acts in Rivers State.

The statement which was issued in Osogbo, Osun State capital, on Thursday by APC Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also warned the police and other security agencies against providing cover for what it termed ‘renegades’ to engage in any illegality, saying their role was to ensure the safety and security of all legislators if and when the house decides to sit.

Information Nigeria reports that an attempt by the 25 pro-Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi lawmakers to resume sitting today in obedience to yesterday’s court ruling, ended in chaos as the police tear-gassed and reportedly used live ammunition to disperse the lawmakers.

APC noted that there is no doubt the six legislators opposed to Gov. Amaechi will try to hide under the guise of the court judgment to convene the Assembly with the sole purpose of removing the Speaker – Otelemaba Dan Amachree – as a prelude to impeaching the State Governor, but warned that any such act will constitute an illegality and trigger a cataclysmic reaction, the end result of which no one can predict.

“The six legislators opposed to Gov. Amaechi do not and cannot form a quorum (9 members) that will even allow the House to convene legally, not to talk of at least 20 members – representing two third majority – that can constitutionally impeach the Speaker. In a house of 32 members, there is no way six members can be more than 26, even under the warped arithmetic which the Jonathan Administration has been conjuring in recent times to back the losing faction of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

“However, we are aware that the renegade legislators, with the clear backing of President Goodluck Jonathan, have nothing but disdain for constitutionality and the rule of law, hence will have no qualms about carrying out any act of impunity.

“We are therefore constrained to warn, in the strongest possible terms, that we in the APC will take any impunity in Rivers as an impunity to all, and will vehemently resist such with a spontaneous explosion of people power not only in states under our control but across the country”, APC said.

Calling on the police to remain neutral so as not to be used to perpetrate violence and chaos in the state, the party said already, Commissioner of Police in Rivers – Joseph Mbu, had ordered that all roads leading to the House of Assembly complex in Port Harcourt be barricaded, perhaps as a prelude to escorting the renegade members to convene, to illegally remove the Speaker.

It would be recalled that an attempt by five lawmakers to illegally remove Hon. Amachree as Speaker and replace him with Evans Bipi in July, resulted in a free-for-all fight that eventually led to the closure of the Assembly complex.

Referring to President Jonathan, APC said he must not allow personal and partisan considerations to blot out his responsibility as the father of the nation and put in jeopardy his constitutional role of ensuring the country’s unity.

“We are aware of the letter to President Jonathan by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, virtually accusing the President of destroying the same nation he was elected to preside over and uplift. We hope he will not allow Obasanjo’s prognosis about him to come true so soon by backing any move that can plunge Nigeria into chaos.

“This is because we in the APC have resolved never to sit by and allow anyone, no matter how highly placed, to engage in actions that will make our country a laughing stock and a pariah in the comity of nations. Therefore, there will be no peace anywhere in the country if this Federal Government supports the perpetration of impunity in Rivers. This is not a threat, but the sure consequences of any acts of impunity,” it said

The party urged all persons of goodwill, especially past leaders, to prevail on President Jonathan to back off the renegade Members of Parliament, who are hell-bent destabilizing Rivers State.