From Gyang Bere, Jos
Do not take sides with any of the parties in the ongoing leadership tussle rocking the Plateau State House of Assembly; that was the message of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to security authorities Wednesday.
The chairman of the coalition, Gad Peter, briefing reporters in Jos, called on authorities to stand on the side of justice, fairness, peace and ensure that the state legislators uphold the rule of law and legislative procedures to avert a breakdown of law and order.
‘We wish to urge the various security agencies in the state that they should maintain an impartial posture in the handling of the ongoing attempt at “leadership change” in the State House of Assembly,’ Peter stated.
‘This call became imperative because there is a general perception that the State Security Service and the Nigeria Police Force has not been a strategic arbiter in handling the impasse thus far.
‘We are worried that the security agencies in the state saddled with the responsibility of providing security, restoring peace and maintaining law and order seems to have become a party in the impasse.
‘We want to use this platform to call on the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the State Security Service to call their personnel to order, to ensure they do not compromise the security architecture of the state which is still fragile and they stand on the side of justice, fairness and peace.’
Gad expressed over the militarisation of the civil space by military personnel on bikes who are deployed to harass, scuffle and intimidate harmless civilians firing indiscriminately under the guise of maintaining peace and order where there is no threat to peace.
He noted that the leadership crisis in the House is unnecessary as it has hit up the political atmosphere thereby threatening the peace and corporate existence of the state.
‘We are saddened by the current unnecessary leadership tussle in the Plateau State House Assembly which has made life unbearable for citizens and inculcating the culture of violence and use of force instead of debate, diplomacy and dialogue.
‘It is, therefore, critical at this point to call on all parties, especially those trying to forcefully change the rules to follow the rules of engagement and constitutional provisions (Sec 92 Sub sec 2c) so that lawmakers do not become lawbreakers as we see in this saga.
‘We, therefore, call for a quick resolution of the perceived impasse and democratic norms and practice in the running of the affairs of the Plateau State House of Assembly and we say no to any act of impunity.
‘As co-travellers in the strengthening of developmental and democratic ties in Plateau State and Nigeria at large, we call in a very clear and loud voice for the respect for the rule of law, inclusiveness, protection of democratic values and independence in the real sense of the word of the three arms of government.’