Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has been called upon to direct the Anambra State Commissioner of Police to reopen the Anambra State House of Assembly sealed off by the State Police command fortnight ago.
Two human right groups, Campaign for Democracy (CD) and Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation (HURIJE) made the call, on Wednesday.
They said the continued closure of the Anambra Assembly amounted to a negation of the constitution and bastardisation of the democratic principle.
In a joint statement signed by HURIJE Chairman, Dede Uzor A Uzor and National Publicity Secretary of CD, the human right groups insisted that it was constitutional for the House to effect leadership change if the leadership breaches the laws of the House.
They further emphasised the need to maintain the sanctity, rights and independence of the three organs of Government if Nigeria’s democracy must thrive.
The statement reads in part, “The Executive should not use the Police or any other security operatives to undermine the Legislature and the Judiciary as we have seen in recent time even at the National Assembly.
“If the Governor is doing well and has no skeleton in his cupboard, he should not be afraid of who emerged the Speaker. After all 95 per cent of the members are APGA members.”
The groups also expressed displeasure over what it said was happening in APGA, “especially the sham that was the primaries”, stressing that most of the crisis emanated from the incompetent handling of the party’s recent primaries.
Condemning the party leadership over the suspension of the House members without fair hearing, the human right groups said, “That is why most people were agitated that the chairmanship of the party should come from other state not Anambra to ensure fairness and equity.
“We are not happy with the cash and carry primaries where the leadership allegedly extorted money from aspirants and later handed the ticket to predetermined individuals.
“The cause of the crisis in the House of Assembly is a spillover of the primaries. If the primaries were free and fair, we don’t think anybody would be bothered.
“The political class should always stick to the rules of the game to ensure stability of the polity,” the groups said.