Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday called on the military not to allow itself to be dragged into partisan politics, especially in the wake of the call by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government and some of its state governors to desist from endangering the nation’s democracy.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, the PDP said it had watched the video clip of Senator Ekweremadu’s contribution on the floor of the Senate severally and noted that it did not see anything in the clip saw that could have warranted the statement issued by the Defence Headquarters on the matter.
The PDP faulted claims by the Defence Headquarters that Ekweremadu’s “statement may appear cautionary and sincere in the atmosphere of discourse, it is however derogatory to the army used in the expression and by extension to the armed forces of Nigeria ”.
The opposition party added that it “ holds the institution of the Nigerian military in high esteem and we advise that it should not allow itself to be dragged into desperate attempts by the failed APC administration to criminalize every contrary view or attempt to call it to order.
“Every student of Nigeria’s history knows that executive excesses such as sponsored political violence, intimidation of opposition and dissent voices, human rights abuses, disrespect for court orders and disregard for the separation of powers and rule of law, as we have today in Nigeria, have always been the bane of the nation’s democracy.”
It said Nigerians are aware of the flagrant disobedience to court orders by the present administration, as well as the harassment,arrest and detention of perceived political opponents on trumped up charges, while established cases of corruption by a cabal in the Presidency are swept under the carpet.
The PDP added that Nigerians are witnesses to how “ Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso was prevented from visiting his home state, Kano; how the house belonging to Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi was pulled down by an APC government in Kaduna State and how a meeting by Senator Shehu Sani and other politicians from the state, who have political disagreement with established APC interest was visited with horror.
“They also watched with dismay as a full squadron of the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) laid siege to the sacred ground of the court to arrest Senator Dino Melaye, who was arraigned by the police over his reported attempt on his life.”
Consequently, it contended that Ekweremadu’s call is timely, patriotic and not inimical to the military or the nation in any way.
The party stated that the Deputy Senate President only reinforced a call by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai in 2017 on the need to guard against actions that can scuttle the nation’s democracy.
“Our military remains a respected institution and should not in anyway allow the APC to use its gimmick to drag it into partisan politics,” the opposition party said.