- Nkire wants rule of law to prevail
By Ndubuisi Orji, Fred Itua and Magnus Eze, Abuja
REACTIONS have continued to trail the letter of Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, to the international community, on his trial and that of the Senate President for alleged forgery.
Ekweremadu had on Tuesday, petitioned the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), United States’ Congress, EU Parliament, governments of United States, United Kingdom and other foreign missions, over what he described as an attempt to truncate Nigeria’s democracy and silence him as the leader and highest ranking member of the opposition in the country. He alleged, in the letter, that his current travails were part of a grand plan to smear his image.
Reacting to the letter, former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife said there was nothing wrong in letting the global community know what is happening in Nigeria.
He said since it is believed that America and Britain supported President Muhammadu Buhari to become president, they should be kept abreast with developments in the country under the present administration.
Ezeife, who spoke in a telephone interview yesterday, said recent developments in the country threaten “to black out democracy,” noting that “it is not in doubt that the country is moving backward.”
He listed the alleged killing of members of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) in Ontisha and the continued detention of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Knau, after he had been granted bail by a court of competent jurisdiction, as part of the anti-democratic practices under the Buhari administration.
“If you are in trouble, you shout to let people know what is happening to you. That you are crying does not make you right. What is going on, what we are facing and what we have seen show an attempt to black out democracy in Nigeria.
“The almighty God created Nigeria and designed it for greatness, but man is messing up with the design. Things are happening in every aspect of Nigeria. What else can you do? We have democracy and it is being raped. And if you keep quiet, it dies,” the former governor said.
However, he said the solution is not condemning the present administration or President Buhari.
“What we need is prayers. We should humble ourselves, confess our sins and pray to God to lead Buhari on the right path of democracy and welfare for the people,” he said.
Also, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, said what Ekweremadu did was not out of place. He said leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC), while in the opposition, frustrated the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, through frequent petitions to the international community.
He said the insurgency war was frustrated as a result of petitions written to the United States of America, the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), among others. He further maintained that the United States Government refused to sell arms to the Nigerian Government to prosecute the insurgency war as a result of series of petitions from APC leaders.
Chief Ozekhome said: “We need to draw the attention of the international community before things get bad in this country. I remember when APC was in the opposition, even last year, every little thing, they rushed to the international community. They even reported Jonathan to the International Criminal Court (ICC), alleging that he was not fighting Boko Haram.
“One of the reasons the United States Government did not support Jonathan in his first against Boko Haram was because of the petitions APC leaders wrote to the international community.
“The APC still behaves as if it is in the opposition. The last time, Buhari came out and said he was against the devaluation of naira. But he had to wait for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to devalue the naira before he could say that.
“The question we are asking is, who is in charge of the government? Is there a government within a government? The president appears surprised on some of the things happening around him. It was the same way the president said he was shocked when he heard that his ministers were denying budget padding in the National Assembly.”
A member of the House of Representatives and former zonal secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South- South, Joseph Edionwele, called on Nigerians to support the position of Ekweremadu.
Edionwele said: “The letter Ekweremadu wrote was in order. It is obvious that the president is out to silence the opposition. Anybody who speaks against the government of the day is being haunted. That is what is happening in the country right now.
“You can see the case of Ayodele Fayose and Femi Fani-Kayode. Imagine that they are trying to remove a deputy senate president who was duly elected. It is obvious that they are not fighting corruption. That is very clear now.
A member of the Board of Trustees of APC, Mr. Sam Nkire, argued that the rule of law should take its cause and that the right thing should be done.